Update February 26, 2021: David Nangle issued a guilty plea this week in connection with 23 fraud charges that saw him spend political campaign funds on online wagering and gambling trips, among other uses. A Boston federal judge is expected to sentence the accused at a later date this year, and may include substantial fines as well as prison time.
Charges go back to at least 2014
David Nangle, a longtime Massachusetts state lawmaker, was arrested early Tuesday on dozens of fraud charges going back to at least 2014.
accused of illegally gambling with campaign funds to the tune of $70k
The 59-year-old Democrat has been accused of illegally gambling with campaign funds to the tune of $70k. Nangle reportedly gambled online and frequented several land-based casinos.
Gambled with campaign funds
Nangle reportedly began using campaign funds to sustain his gambling habit several years ago.
The lawmaker would travel to casinos in Massachusetts and other facilities in nearby New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. During his trips, Nangle would use campaign money to fund his sessions. When he could not travel to a casino, he would use the funds to gamble online instead.
During his arraignment hearing, prosecutors stated that not only did Nangle use $70k of campaign funds to gamble, he also defrauded a bank of over $300k in loan money that he was not qualified to obtain. He also avoided paying tens of thousands to the IRS via false tax returns.
Commenting on the lawmaker’s behavior, US Attorney Andrew Lelling said: “This was not a momentary loss of judgement or a technical foul. This was a systematic pattern of theft and fraud.”
Nangle pled not guilty to the 28 counts he faces. The charges include wire and bank fraud, filing false tax returns, and making false statements to a bank. Bond has been set at $25,000. US Magistrate Judge M. Paige Kelley ordered Nangle to avoid gambling and to surrender his passport.
William Connolly, Nangle’s attorney, stated that his client is a good man who proudly served his district. The attorney pointed out that the charges are allegations and they will be fighting them in court.
Violating public trust
US Attorney Lelling pointed out that if the indictment allegations are true, then Nangle has violated pubic trust, including those who donated to his campaign. Since 1999, Nangle has served in the House and is a member of the House Committee on Rules and the Joint Committee on Rules.
went to great lengths to conceal his debt, including creating several fraudulent schemes
According to Lelling, the lawmaker’s wrongdoing dates back to at least 2014. Over the years, Nangle misled his staff members and his campaign treasurer to avoid his activities being detected. He went to great lengths to conceal his debt, including creating several fraudulent schemes.
Fellow House members reportedly had no idea that Nangle had a gambling problem. House Speaker Robert DeLeo has known Nangle for 20 years and stated he had no idea that the lawmaker was facing such an issue.
The House has cooperated with officials regarding the case against Nangle, including providing records that relate to the investigation, which is ongoing.