Continuing a long line of Democrat arrests and resignations this year, it looks like they’re going to see out 2017 with a doozy!
Former Massachusetts State Sen. Brian Joyce was arrested and charged with running his office as a “criminal enterprise” on Friday, The 55-year-old Democrat was taken into custody in the tiny town of Westport by the FBI after a two-year investigation.
The nine-term senator did not seek re-election after the FBI and IRS raided his Canton law office last year. He had represented his district since 1998. He had served as Assistant Majority Leader.
Prosecutors accuse him of using his law firm to launder money while he was still working as a state legislator.
Joyce was led out of his home shortly before sunrise on December 8, FBI Special Agent in charge for Boston Hank Shaw said, adding that Joyce “was greedy, plain and simple.”
Acting United States Attorney William Weinreb stated, “Brian Joyce represented over 100,000 Massachusetts citizens in the state Legislature,’’ He told reporters. “He had a duty to serve them honestly. And he violated that duty by accepting bribes and kickbacks in exchange for his official action.”
Joyce was expected to appear before a federal magistrate. His attorney, Howard Cooper, said he was “reviewing the charges.”
Joyce is now facing a 113 count indictment from the federal government. He is accused in a federal indictment of using his office for personal profit. Weinreb said the Joyce investigation is ongoing and more charges could come for co-conspirators. He would not rule out additional arrests connected to the Massachusetts State House, adding that the case “is far from over.”
He has been charged with racketeering, extortion, honest services fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the IRS.
Joyce’s law office in Canton was raided by the FBI in February 2016 in what was then described as “court-authorized activity in connection with an ongoing federal investigation.” Cooper said at the time that Joyce was cooperating and believed he had done nothing wrong.
The 104-page indictment includes a number of charges including racketeering, extortion, wire fraud and money laundering. Joyce “violated the public’s trust” and “decided to take the path of greed,” federal law enforcement officials said, CBS Boston reported.
Joyce is also reported to have gained $1 million through bribes and kickbacks.
Prosecutors say Joyce used his law practice, which he ran while working as a full-time legislator, to launder the proceeds of his schemes by “falsely characterizing the bribe and kickback payments as legal referral fees,” and that he lied to the state Ethics Commission about the payments.
The colorful portion of the scandal is that he was found to have accepted “hundreds of pounds” of Dunkin Doughnuts coffee, after he pulled strings for a local franchise owner.
He also is accused of using his office to help an insurance company who paid him with a free Jeep, and writing legislation to help a Philadelphia based solar energy company in exchange for $50,000 in payoffs.
Joyce is also accused of orchestrating a shady real estate deal with a developer. He was trying to take over the development of properties at the site of the historic Milton Women’s Club after it fell into disrepair. The unnamed developer allegedly hid Joyce’s financial interests in the project and even portrayed the senator as nothing more than a dedicated legislator “trying to help out the woman’s club,” and someone who helps “people in the town.”
Harriette Chandler, a Worcester Democrat who is currently serving as acting Senate president, released a brief statement Friday following Joyce’s arrest.
“Law enforcement has done its job today,” said Chandler. “This case now moves to the courts, and I am confident that the justice system will come to a fair and just conclusion in the days to come.”
This is the second time this month a Massachusetts Democrat has been embroiled in a massive scandal. Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg resigned last week, amidst reports his husband Bryon Hefner had been sexually inappropriate with four separate men. Rosenberg’s resignation, however, is said to only be in effect for the “duration of the investigation,”
What a mess! The Democrats need to drain their own swamp. Corrine Brown, Menendez, Franken, Conyers… now Joyce… the list goes on and on, and on!
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!