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Ex-congressional candidate arraigned on campaign finance charges

(012318  – Boston, MA) District 3 candidate for US Congress, Abhijit “Beej” Das, a N. Andover democrat, on Herald radio on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.  Staff photo by Arthur Pollock
(012318 – Boston, MA) District 3 candidate for US Congress, Abhijit “Beej” Das, a N. Andover democrat, on Herald radio on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Staff photo by Arthur Pollock
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A former congressional candidate from Massachusetts was arrested June 29 on charges of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act and making false statements.

Abhijit “Beej” Das, 47, of North Andover, was indicted on two counts of making a false statement and one count each of accepting excessive campaign contributions, conduit contributions, conversion of campaign funds and engaging in a scheme to falsify, conceal and cover-up material facts.

He pleaded not guilty June 30 to the charges at his Boston federal court arraignment before Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal, who released him on the conditions that he have no contact with any of the witnesses in the case except for two family members, report to probation, surrender his passport and not travel outside New England, New York and Florida, where his attorney said he had some “business interests.”

Das was a Democratic candidate in the 2018 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District, which largely covers the Merrimack Valley, including Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill. U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan won the seat.

“Mr. Das allegedly solicited illegal campaign donations, used the money for his own business expenses and debts and then attempted to conceal his actions,” acting U.S. Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell said in a statement.

Each of the charges against him carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.