Former State Ethics Committee Chair Sentenced for Embezzlement
BOSTON – Former State House Ethics Committee Chair and 22-year state representative David Nangle was sentenced to 15 years in prison for illegally embezzling campaign funds and failing to report income, among other crimes.
The U.S. Attorney's Office stated Wednesday that the 60-year-old was also ordered to pay $33,347 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and forfeiture of $15,650.
Nangle, of Lowell, pleaded guilty in February to illegally using campaign funds to pay for his personal expenses, defrauding a bank to obtain loans to purchase his home and repay his personal debts, and collecting income that he failed to report to the Internal Revenue Service.
On Feb. 24, Nangle admitted to 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud, four counts of making false statements to a bank and five counts of filing false tax returns.
He will spend two years of supervised release after his prison term.
From 1999 to 2020, Nangle was the elected member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 17th Middlesex District.
Nangle, who previously served as a House Ethics Committee Chairman, used his campaign committee’s debit card to make personal purchases, including thousands of dollars in gift cards.
At the time, Nangle was heavily in debt and gambled extensively at area casinos and online, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
He also used thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay for various personal expenses such as dues at a local golf club, rental cars to travel to casinos, flowers for his girlfriend, gas, hotels and restaurants.
Nangle knew that using campaign funds for personal use was prohibited and concealed his theft by filing false reports that disguised the personal nature of the spending.
From 2015 to 2018, Nangle also fraudulently obtained bank loans to finance the purchase of his home, fund his gambling activities and repay his personal debts.
He did this by making false statements on multiple loan applications, misstating his income and understating his debt, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
After learning that he was being investigated for embezzlement, Nangle also obstructed justice by entering into a sham consulting agreement with a business owner to make payments he received appear legitimate.
But Nangle never provided any legitimate services for the $27,000 he received from the business, instead sponsoring legislation that benefited the business owner's client.
He also filed false tax returns from 2014 to 2018 by reporting fictitious business deductions for purported “consulting” work, as well as double dipping on deductible expenses arising from his work as a state legislator.
He fraudulently claimed thousands of dollars in false deductions for alleged charitable donations and misled his tax preparer, and concealed the income he received through goods and services.
This included $7,000 in kitchen and bathroom work done in Nangle’s home and $7,000 in check payments from a contractor, gambling income from a Connecticut casino, and thousands of dollars that he stole from his campaign account.
“Former Representative Nangle was a 22-year veteran of the Massachusetts State House and former Chairman of the Ethics Committee when he illegally used campaign funds for private golf club dues, trips to casinos and expensive dinners,” said Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel Mendell.
“He broke the law and violated his duty to the voters – as Chairman of the Ethics Committee, no less.”
“State lawmakers are elected by the people, to serve the people, not to serve their own financial interests like David Nangle did," said Joseph Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Boston Division.
"Mr. Nangle betrayed his constituents’ trust and broke the law, knowing full well what he was doing was wrong. Today’s sentence shows there are serious consequences for corrupt public officials who try to undermine the integrity of our government."
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