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Ex-lawmaker pleads guilty to illegal use of campaign funds

February 24, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014, file photo, David Nangle, vice chair for the House Committee on Ethics, speaks to the media in Boston. The former Massachusetts state representative from Lowell pleaded guilty Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in federal district court to a series of charges including illegally using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. (Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via AP, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014, file photo, David Nangle, vice chair for the House Committee on Ethics, speaks to the media in Boston. The former Massachusetts state representative from Lowell pleaded guilty Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in federal district court to a series of charges including illegally using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. (Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via AP, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Former Massachusetts State Rep. David Nangle pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal district court to a series of charges including illegally using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses.

The 60-year-old Lowell resident also pleaded guilty to defrauding a bank to obtain loans to purchase his home and repay personal debts — and to collecting income he failed to report to the IRS.

Nangle had served as a member of the state House Committee on Ethics and the House Committee on Rules. He was also a member of former Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s leadership team and had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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“Elected representatives are expected to work for the benefit of their constituents, not to line their own pockets,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Nangle, who served for two decades on Beacon Hill, used his campaign committee’s debit card to make personal purchases.

Nangle was heavily in debt and gambled extensively at casinos and online, and used thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay for expenses like dues at a local golf club, rental cars to travel to casinos, flowers for his girlfriend, gas, hotels and restaurants, according to Lelling.

Nangle also fraudulently obtained bank loans to buy his home, fund his gambling activities and repay personal debts, prosecutors said. In the process, he made false statements on multiple loan applications, misstating his income and understating his debt, investigators said.

Separately, Nangle filed false tax returns for tax years 2014 to 2018 by reporting fictitious business deductions for purported “consulting” work he did for a Billerica company. He also wrongly deducted expenses from his work as a legislator and misled his tax preparer, according to Lelling.

Nangle additionally concealed income he received through goods and services from business owners and other sources, prosecutors said. That included $7,000 in kitchen and bathroom work done in Nangle’s home, $7,000 in check payments from a contractor, gambling income from a Connecticut casino and thousands of dollars stolen from his campaign account.

His sentencing is scheduled for June 24.

Nangle faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,00 for the charge of wire fraud and up to 30 years and a fine of $1 million for the charges of bank fraud and making false statements to a bank.