David Nangle, former Lowell lawmaker, expected to plead guilty in federal fraud case
FEB 10, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: FEB 13, 2021
Former state representative David M. Nangle, who was arrested on more than two dozen federal fraud charges a year ago, is expected to plead guilty later this month, according to court filings.
Nangle, 60, is scheduled to appear in federal court on Feb. 24 to change his plea in the case.
After his arrest in February 2020, federal prosecutors said Nangle had raided his campaign account of more than $70,000 to sustain his gambling habit, bilked a local bank out of more than $300,000 in loan money he wasn’t qualified to receive, and cheated the Internal Revenue Service out of tens of thousands of dollars in what US Attorney Andrew Lelling called a “systematic pattern of theft and fraud.”
Attorneys had not filed a plea agreement as of Wednesday, and Nangle’s attorney, Carmine P. Lepore, said he did not expect one, adding that Nangle had no deal with prosecutors.
“We’re still working through some things. There’s nothing in cement yet,” Lepore said. “It will be a wide-open plea.”
Nangle declined to comment Wednesday evening.
He served 11 terms in the Massachusetts House and was a member of then-House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s leadership team before he was indicted last February.
Nangle quickly stepped down from his leadership position and committee assignments, including a spot on the House Committee on Ethics. He later lost in his reelection bid in September, when Vanna Howard, a onetime aide to former US Representative Niki Tsongas, beat him and another challenger in the Democratic primary. Howard later won the seat in the November election.
Nangle, who has been released on bond, had used stolen campaign funds to pay for thousands of dollars in Lowell Golf Club dues, rental cars for casino travel, flowers for his girlfriend, and other personal expenses, according to an indictment.
Nangle’s alleged wrongdoing “seems to go back at least five years,” Lelling said at the time, but audits dating back to 2009 indicate it began earlier, Lelling said. Along the way, Nangle misled his staff, campaign treasurer, and a tax preparer, authorities said.
An unnamed Tyngsborough contractor also got caught up in Nangle’s scams, prosecutors alleged. The contractor did work on Nangle’s home that Nangle never paid for, according to the indictment. Instead, the contractor was awarded lucrative bids for construction projects that Nangle had secured state funding for.