The former Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Brian Joyce has been found using his office for personal profit and accepted up to $1 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for official actions, reports CBS Boston.
Joyce, who is the longtime attorney and Milton Democrat who was arrested on Friday and is accused of hiding money by creating a shell company and disguising it as “legal fees.”
“We believe Mr. Joyce was greedy, plain and simple,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Hank Shaw said.
Joyce has pleaded not guilty to the 113-count indictment against him. The over a hundred charges stem from a two-year investigation includes charges of racketeering, extortion, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and money laundering.
Joyce’s lawyer, Howard Cooper, said in an email to The Associated Press that he is still reviewing the charges.
“‘The indictment alleges that Joyce secretly profited from his position as state senator by accepting “a stream of concealed bribes and kickbacks” that included a free Jeep and hundreds of pounds of Dunkin Donuts coffee, in exchange for official actions before the state Legislature. He is accused of pressuring state and municipal officials to take official action on government matters,’ reports CBS.”
Joyce was a state senator for more than 100,000 constituents and the acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said that Joyce ran his office 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 said.
In February 2016, the FBI and IRS raided Joyce Canton law office. Months later, Joyce reportedly sold his Milton home and also sold his family burial blot in Milton where he grew up.
The number of complex schemes dates back to 2010 and prosecutors say he also lied to the state’s ethics commission and used the panel as a “cloak of legitimacy for his corrupt schemes.”
Joyce, who had served as assistant majority leader, announced last year that he would not seek re-election in 2017. He had been representing his district since 1998, but Joyce has been questionable in his ethics for a while now.
In 2015, then-Senate President Stan Rosenberg asked the ethics commission to review Joyce’s conduct after The Boston Globe reported on potential conflicts of interest focusing on whether he used his position to boost his law practice.
But it’s been a rough month for the Massachusetts State Senate, because Rosenberg announced Monday he was stepping aside as president of the chamber during a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into the circumstances surrounding reported sexual misconduct allegations by several men against his husband, Bryon Hefner.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker called the allegations against Joyce disturbing.
“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,” Baker said.