David Nangle frequented casinos throughout New England.
When he wasn’t conducting state business as the longtime elected representative of communities north of Boston, David Nangle frequented casinos throughout New England, accumulating so much gambling debt that he turned to campaign funds to keep himself financially afloat, according to a 28-count indictment unsealed Tuesday.
Nangle, D-Lowell, was arrested Tuesday by the FBI and the IRS on charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, filing false tax returns and lying to a bank.
“Time after time he allegedly used campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, spending thousands of dollars on golf club fees, gas, gift cards, hotels, restaurants, flowers and rental cars for trips to casinos, some of which he had already been reimbursed for by taxpayers,” said the FBI’s Joe Bonavolonta.
When regulators asked about these expenses, prosecutors said Nangle “fraudulently described the purpose of such spending as political in nature.”
Nangle has been the state representative from Lowell and Chelmsford since 1999 and in recent years, earned about $100,000, according to court records.
“Despite his salary and perks, Nangle was heavily in debt, had poor credit and had regular cash flow problems as a result of extensive gambling at various casinos in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, among others — placing thousands of bets on internet gambling sites,” per the indictment.
As his debts ballooned to tens of thousands of dollars, Nangle tapped campaign funds to supplement his personal finances instead of using the funds for permissible campaign purposes, the indictment read.
According to federal prosecutors, Nangle defrauded Massachusetts campaign finance regulators by “using the Nangle Committee bank account as his own personal checking account to pay for various personal expenses and to withdraw cash.”
“I think there’s a real deterrent value in us being active in this area and we will continue to do that,” said Andrew Lelling, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, when asked why Nangle was being charged federally instead of at the state level.