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Press Release

Former State Senator Brian Joyce Arrested and Charged in Federal Indictment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – Brian Augustine Joyce, a former Massachusetts State Senator, was arrested this morning by federal authorities for allegedly using his state senate office for private gain. 


Joyce, 55, of Westport, Mass., was charged in a federal indictment unsealed today with racketeering, extortion, honest services fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the IRS, and other charges.  The indictment alleges that Joyce secretly profited from his position as state senator by accepting a stream of concealed bribes and kickbacks in exchange for his official action on matters before the state legislature and for exerting pressure on and advising state and municipal officials to take official action on government matters.  The indictment further alleges that Joyce employed sophisticated methods to conceal his corrupt acts, including using a shell company and other entities to launder proceeds from his bribery and kickback schemes and to conceal his ongoing criminal activities.  


Specifically, the indictment alleges that Joyce agreed to use his official position to exert pressure on and advise Town Administrators to use a particular energy broker in return for kickbacks in the form of commissions to a shell company, which Joyce controlled.  It is further alleged that Joyce used his official position to pressure and advise members of the Milton Planning Board to approve a property subdivision waiver that a developer sought, in exchange for a kickback.  Joyce allegedly concealed the kickback by, among other things, falsely telling a Milton Planning Board member that he had not been paid by the developer, and by accepting payment from the developer in the form of a Jeep from one of the developer’s car dealerships.


In addition, it is alleged that Joyce took official action, or pressured others to take official action, on behalf of a coffee-business franchise owner in exchange for hundreds of pounds of free coffee.  Joyce took steps to conceal this by submitting backdated checks to the State Ethics Commission and instructed the franchise owner and his relative to falsely represent to the Ethics Commission that they had agreed to provide Joyce coffee in exchange for legal services. 


According to the indictment, Joyce also exerted pressure on and advised officials at the Massachusetts Division of Insurance to take official action on matters in favor of an Energy Insurance Brokerage Company (EIB), who paid Joyce in exchange for his official assistance in promoting, sponsoring, and filing legislation that would benefit the EIB.  The indictment also alleges that Joyce attempted to use his official position as state senator to collect money for “legal work” from representatives of a Philadelphia solar company who sought Joyce’s assistance with local permitting and pending legislation. 


Joyce is also charged with conspiring to defraud the IRS in connection with his purchase of more than $470,000 in common stock from the EIB Company and falsely reporting the stock purchase as a tax-exempt retirement account rollover in his personal tax return.


The charges of racketeering, mail fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud and extortion provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison; the money laundering charges provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison; and the charge of fraud, misapplication involving federal funds provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dustin Chao and William F. Bloomer of Weinreb’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit are prosecuting the case.


The details contained in the indictment are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated December 8, 2017

Public Corruption