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Press Release

Salem New Hampshire Police Captain Arrested for Tax Fraud Related to Profit From Sales of Firearms

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

BOSTON – A Captain with the Salem, N.H. Police Department was arrested today and charged with tax fraud deriving from profits he earned from selling firearms. 

Michael Wagner, 48, of Pelham, N.H., was arrested and charged in an indictment unsealed today on one count of filing a false tax return. Wagner will make an initial appearance via videoconference at 2:15 p.m. in federal court in Boston. Wagner is a Captain with the Salem, N.H. Police Department.

The indictment alleges that in December 2012 and January 2013, Wagner purchased approximately 36 assault rifles from Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, N.H. and resold them in 2013 to earn a profit of more than $33,000 that Wagner purposely omitted from his 2013 tax return. Wagner allegedly used a 25 percent discount that Sig Sauer offered law enforcement officers, which increased his profit, and directed a subordinate police officer to make a purchase of an assault rifle for him after Sig Sauer stopped giving Wagner the law enforcement discount. The indictment further alleges that Wagner overstated his deductions in his 2013 tax return by falsely claiming more than $10,000 in reimbursed expenses for police equipment, ammunition and firearms.

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Boston Field Division; Attorney General of New Hampshire Gordon MacDonald; and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil J. Gallagher, Jr. of Lelling’s Public Corruption Unit is 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 July 2, 2020