Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service have arrested a Massachusetts state lawmaker on more than two dozen corruption charges for embezzling campaign funds and bank and tax fraud, authorities said.
Massachusetts Rep. David Nangle was arrested at his home in Lowell early Tuesday, the FBI announced via Twitter.
According to the unsealed 28-count indictment, the Democratic politician, who has served the 17th Middlesex District since 1999, is accused of conducting a scheme that began in 2014 that allowed him to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign, a bank and the IRS to make personal purchases and to cover his gambling habit.
"As alleged, Rep. Nangle used the power of his position on Beacon Hill to fund a lifestyle out of his reach, unwittingly financed by those who put him there, while also cheating you, the taxpayers," Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI Boston Division said in a statement. "Today's arrest should be a warning to others that corruption in any form, at any level of government, will not be tolerated."
The 28-page indictment alleges that from 2014 to 2019, the 59-year-old former ethics committee chairman was heavily in debt as a result of "extensive gambling" at several casinos and at Internet gambling sites, and to sustain his habit he used campaign funds, defrauded his bank and failed to report income to the IRS.
He also used the funds to cover golf club dues, rent cars and buy flowers for his girlfriends, gas, hotels and restaurants.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said during a press conference that Nangle is accused of stealing more than $70,000 from his campaign through the use of a debit card and buying gift cards purportedly for his staff and using them for his own expenses.
According to court documents, Nangle knew he was barred from using his campaign funds for personal purchases and concealed his scheme by filing false reports to an independent state agency to disguise his spending. For example, he listed $1,675 he spent at a Lowell golf club on membership dues and locker fees as "catering" in the report sent to the state agency.
Nangle also obtained hundreds of thousands in loans from a bank to repay his debts by lying on applications, misstating his income and understating his debt, prosecutors said.
In total, he faces 28 charges, including 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud, nine counts of making false statements to a bank and five counts of filing false tax returns.
If convicted, Nangle faces up to 30 years in prison for the wire and bank fraud charges, prosecutors said.