A former Massachusetts senator was arrested on Friday and charged with over 100 counts in an alleged bribery scheme that officials claim he used to profit approximately $1 million.
After a two-year investigation, federal law enforcement officials arrested Democrat Brian Joyce, 55, at his home and charged him on 113 counts related to “racketeering, extortion, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and money laundering,” CBS Boston reported.
Investigators allege that Joyce used his publicly-elected office in the same manner as a criminal enterprise, claiming that he collected bribes and kickbacks in exchange for actions that he would take as a senator and then laundered the money into a shell company that he used to disguise the money as “legal fees.”
“People in public life need to respect the offices they hold and that means not using them for personal gain, and if the feds believe there’s enough there to justify an indictment then the investigation needs to be thorough and move forward accordingly,” Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said.
According to CBS’ report, prosecutors accused Joyce of:
- Lying to the state’s ethics commission and using the panel to legitimize his criminal acts.
- Using his position to exert influence over an energy brokerage firm who gave him “secret kickbacks.”
- Pressuring a planning board to approve a waiver for a developer who then gave him a free Jeep.
- Taking legal action to help the owner of a Dunkin Donuts franchise who paid him tens-of-thousands of dollars and gave him a massive amount of free coffee.
- Conspiring to defraud the IRS of nearly half-a-million dollars.
Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb described Joyce as having used his office in the state’s legislature as a “criminal enterprise.”
“He had a duty to serve (his constituents) honestly, and he violated that duty by accepting bribes and kickbacks in exchange for his official action,” Weinreb stated.