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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Former Executive Director Of Chelsea Housing Authority Pleads Guilty To Falsely Reporting Salary

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BOSTON - The former Executive Director of the Chelsea Housing Authority was convicted today of falsely reporting his salary in annual budgets required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

Michael E. McLaughlin, 67, of Dracut, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to four counts of falsifying a record in a federal agency matter with intent to impede and obstruct that matter. Sentencing is scheduled for May 14, 2013 at 2:00. The maximum sentence under the statute is 20 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on each count.

From 2008 through 2011, McLaughlin, who served since 2000 as the Executive Director of the Chelsea Housing Authority, falsified his salary figure in the annual fiscal year budgets of the Chelsea Housing Authority and submitted them electronically to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

In 2008, McLaughlin falsely stated that his budgeted annual salary was $151,945, when his actual salary was at least $242,908 under his existing contract. McLaughlin made the same kind of concealment of his increasing salary in the ensuing three years. Specifically, in FY 2009 McLaughlin falsely reported that his budgeted annual salary was $156,503, when his actual salary was at least $267,199 under his existing contract and his total compensation was at least $292,902, as reflected in his 2008 W-2. Then in FY 2010, McLaughlin falsely reported that his budgeted annual salary was $160,415, when his actual salary was at least $275,215 under his existing contract and his total compensation was at least $324,896. In FY 2011 McLaughlin falsely reported that his budgeted annual salary was $160,415, when his actual salary was at least $283,471 under his existing contract and his total compensation was at least $324,896.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Cary Rubenstein, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The Massachusetts Inspector General’s Office and Massachusetts State Police also assisted in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Theodore Merritt of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Beagan from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.