LOWELL — Former state Rep. David Nangle, who pleaded guilty to 23 federal fraud charges in February, will be sentenced in September instead of later this month.
Nangle was originally scheduled to be sentenced the afternoon of June 24, but according to U.S. District Court docket information, his hearing with Judge Rya W. Zobel has been moved to Sept. 15 at 2 p.m.
Nangle’s case has been subject to numerous delays and rescheduling.
Court docket information provides no reason for the sentencing rescheduling, but it may be due to a backlog of cases that all courts are experiencing due to the pandemic. Nangle’s court date is listed as a remote hearing, but that may change due to the rollback of coronavirus restrictions.
Nangle, who served as state representative for the 17th Middlesex District for 11 terms until he was unseated by Vanna Howard in last year’s Democratic primary, was initially indicted in February 2020 on 28 federal corruption charges.
On Feb. 24 this year, he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud, four counts of making false statements to a bank and five counts of filing false tax returns. His original charges included an additional five counts of making false statements to a bank, but the charges were consolidated as part of a plea agreement.
According to the superseding information filed along with the plea deal, Nangle was heavily in debt and had poor credit and cash flow problems due to extensive gambling at various casinos around New England and online, incurring tens of thousands of dollars of debt and losses. To sustain his activities and keep himself afloat, he illicitly used campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, defrauded a bank lender through multiple mortgage and home equity lines of credit secured through materially false loan applications and collected income he did not report to the Internal Revenue Service.
Nangle misled his staff and treasurer and concealed his theft of campaign funds by filing false campaign finance reports. He also embezzled money by issuing checks to a straw vendor, a friend of a relative who directed the vendor to cash the checks and give the money to Nangle.
Nangle borrowed around $113,000 from associates who own local restaurants between 2011 and 2018, the bulk of it coming from a relative who owns a restaurant and catering business in Dracut. None of the associates are named in court documents, but Nangle’s cousin, Mike Lenzi, owns Lenzi’s in Dracut.
Nangle also had questionable relationships with other area businesses, including a Billerica facilities maintenance company that paid him a total of $27,000 for purported “consulting” services not actually rendered — which he used as a down payment on a new home in Lowell — and a Tyngsboro contractor that provided several thousands of dollars in goods, services and a “loan” in exchange for being awarded lucrative bids for construction projects for which Nangle secured state funding.
Under the plea deal, Nangle agreed not to challenge his conviction, any prison sentence of 30 months or less and any court orders related to forfeiture, restitution, fines or supervised release, on direct appeal or in any other proceeding, including a separate civil lawsuit. He is also subject to forfeiture of assets obtained as a result of the offenses, except for his current home in Lowell.
In the deal, the U.S. Attorney’s office agreed not to charge Nangle with obstruction of justice, or extortion or obtaining property under color of official right, related to a “stream of benefits” from a Billerica company owner to Nangle. Any breach of the agreement by Nangle could allow the U.S. Attorney to pursue further charges.
Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The bank fraud and making false statements to a bank charges each carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. The false tax returns charges carry a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000.