Former Massachusetts State Representative Sentenced to Prison for Embezzling Campaign Funds, Bank Fraud and Tax Fraud
BOSTON – Former Massachusetts State Representative David M. Nangle was sentenced today for 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.
Nangle, 60, of Lowell, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 15 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Nangle was also ordered to pay restitution of $33,347 to the IRS and forfeiture of $15,650. On Feb. 24, 2021, Nangle pleaded guilty 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.
“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 R. Mendell. “He broke the law and violated his duty to the voters – as Chairman of the Ethics Committee, no less. This case is the latest proof that this office is intent on holding corrupt public officials accountable.”
“State lawmakers are elected by the people, to serve the people, not to serve their own financial interests like David Nangle did. 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,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Boston Division. “Citizens expect and deserve their elected officials to serve them honestly, and the FBI will not hesitate to go after others like him who willfully and maliciously abuse their office.”
“As a state lawmaker, David Nangle was less concerned about his constituents and more interested in his own personal and financial gain,” said Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. “Today’s sentencing sends a clear message that elected office is not for sale, and those who doubt this will be held accountable for their actions. Cases involving betrayal of the public’s trust are of utmost importance and IRS-CI will continue to be a partner in these efforts.”
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 for his personal use, among other things.
During the period of the charged offenses, Nangle was heavily in debt and gambled extensively at area casinos and online, and then 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 subject to oversight by an independent state agency and concealed his theft by filing false reports that disguised the personal nature of the spending.
In addition, from at least 2015 to 2018, Nangle devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain loans from a bank in order to finance the purchase of his home, fund his gambling activities and repay his personal debts. Nangle did so by making false statements on multiple loan applications, misstating his income and understating his debt.
Upon learning of the investigation into his embezzlement and fraud, Nangle also obstructed justice by entering into a sham consulting agreement with a local business owner designed to make payments he received appear legitimate. In reality, Nangle never provided any legitimate services in exchange for receiving $27,000 from that business owner. Instead, Nangle helped the business owner curry favor with an important client by sponsoring legislation that benefited the business owner’s client.
Separately, Nangle filed false tax returns for tax years 2014 to 2018 by reporting fictitious business deductions for purported “consulting” work that he did for a Billerica company. Nangle also double dipped on deductible expenses arising from his work as a state legislator, fraudulently claiming thousands of dollars in false deductions for alleged charitable donations and misleading his tax preparer. Further, Nangle concealed the income he received through goods and services from business owners and other sources. 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.
Acting U.S. Attorney Mendell, FBI Boston SAC Bonavolonta and IRS-CI SAC Simpson made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Chao, Chief of Mendell’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kunal Pasricha prosecuted the case.