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Mass. Lawmaker Used Campaign Funds for Golf, Rental Cars, Flowers for Girlfriend: FBI

Authorities said in court documents that state Rep. David Nangle was an extensive gambler who used campaign funds to cover golf club dues, rental cars to get to casinos and flowers for his girlfriend

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A Massachusetts lawmaker has been arrested on federal charges, including allegations that he illegally used some $70,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses.

The FBI Boston said state Rep. David Nangle, a Democrat who represents parts of Chelmsford and Lowell, was arrested by FBI and IRS special agents at his home in Lowell on Tuesday morning. He faces dozens of charges, including defrauding a bank and tax fraud.

U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said in a news conference that Nangle tried to hide the illegal campaign expenditures by buying gift cards supposedly for his staff and then using them for his own expenses.

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"It is safe to say that Rep. Nangle has violated the public trust," Lelling said.

Nangle, 59, had no comment as he walked out of Boston's federal courthouse.

Nangle, who was heavily in debt, allegedly deceived campaign authorities by using an acquaintance as a straw campaign vendor who was paid for false services and gave the money back to Nangle, according to Lelling.

Nangle was allegedly an extensive gambler who used the campaign funds to cover golf club dues, rental cars to get to and from casinos, flowers for his girlfriend, gas, hotels and restaurants, Lelling said.

He also allegedly lied on loan applications at a Lowell bank, forging a fake consulting agreement and Form 1099 showing extra income for consulting work he never performed.

According to the indictment, Nangle filed false tax returns for tax years 2014 to 2018 by reporting fictitious business deductions for purported “consulting” work that he did. He allegedly 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.

Moreover, he allegedly disguised gambling expenses and winnings — including paying someone else to collect his winnings — so that he wouldn't appear on a casino's required disclosures to the Internal Revenue Service for people with winnings over a certain amount, Lelling said.

He also allegedly 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 his 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.

Nangle has served in the state Legislature since 1999. He is the former chairman and a current member of the House Committee on Ethics, and also serves on the House Committee on Rules and the Joint Committee on Rules.

State House News Service says he is a division chair in House Speaker Robert DeLeo's leadership team.

DeLeo called the allegations against Nangle "serious and troubling" and said they represent "a significant betrayal of public trust," in a statement issued by his office on Tuesday afternoon.

"I was shocked and disappointed to learn of his indictment this morning," DeLeo said.

He said Nangle has been a friend and colleague for over 20 years and never once did he have any idea that he had a gambling problem.

DeLeo said the House of Representatives received a federal grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney requesting records relating to the case and is cooperating fully with the investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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