Massachusetts state Rep. David Nangle arrested for misusing campaign funds, FBI says

Massachusetts state Rep. David Nangle arrested for misusing campaign funds, FBI says
Massachusetts State Rep. David Nangle did not speak to reporters after leaving court Tuesday. (Boston 25 News)

BOSTON — A Massachusetts state representative was arrested and faces multiple federal charges of misusing campaign funds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.

Prosecutors allege Rep. David Nangle, 59, D-Lowell, was an extensive gambler who used campaign funds to cover golf club dues, rental cars to get to and from casinos, and flowers for his girlfriend, among other things, according to an unsealed indictment.

Nangle pleaded not guilty to 28 federal counts for allegedly using his campaign account to pay for more than $70,000 in personal expenses.

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U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said Nangle is facing a list of offenses, ranging from filing false tax returns to wire fraud dating back to 2014.

“Nangle used this money to among other things, pay golf club dues, rent cars for travel to casinos and buy flowers for his girlfriend,” Lelling said Tuesday.

In 2015, Nangle allegedly submitted a letter to Lowell Bank falsely blaming his bad credit on his ex-wife, claiming that he loaned her money and that she didn’t pay him back. The indictment says that, instead, he didn’t loan her money and that months prior to that he had spent thousands of dollars in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut casinos.

“Money like that could’ve been spent on educating children than waste it on himself,” Melissa Eberiel, of Lowell, told WFXT.

The charges include 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud, nine counts of making false statements and five counts of filing false tax returns.

FBI investigators arrested Nangle at his Lowell home early Tuesday morning. That’s the same place where Nangle allegedly received private services from a local contractor in Tyngsboro in exchange for bids on a lucrative government contract.

“This is not a case of mismanagement, sloppy accounting or mistakes. Simply put, Representative Nangle used the power of his position on Beacon HIll to fund a lifestyle out of his reach, unwittingly financed by those who put him there,” Lelling said.

Federal authorities said Nangle also enlisted a “straw vendor” in his scheme to collect campaign money, and a proxy to pick up his winnings at local casinos in an effort to hide income from the IRS.

Nangle allegedly used campaign funds to cover thousands of dollars in gambling debts, and allegedly lied on four “Lowell Bank” applications to get nearly $400,000 in loans.

“He was trying to triple dip in order to get a federal tax refund and when the IRS caught Nangle red-handed, and told him they were not going to allow him to claim roughly $30,000 in deductions, he continued to mislead and defraud the government by inflating other expenses, filing false deductions, and concealing his income,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston division.

In a statement to reporters, Nangle’s attorney, Bill Connolly, said: “Dave Nangle is a good man who has proudly represented his district as a State Representative… The charges against David are nothing more than allegations. We will fight these charges in court."

Nangle serves on the House Committee on Rules, Joint Committee on Rules and the House Committee on Ethics.

Nangle has served in the Massachusetts Legislature since 1999.