BOSTON (CBS) – Dana Pullman, the former president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM), and Beacon Hill lobbyist Anne Lynch have both been arrested on federal conspiracy and obstruction charges. Prosecutors said Pullman ran the union “like an old school mob boss,” receiving thousands of dollars in illegal bribes and kickbacks.
Pullman was arrested in Worcester and Lynch was taken into custody in Hull, both at their homes, on Wednesday.
Both are charged with wire fraud, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. In addition, Pullman is charged with fraud
According to U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling, Pullman pressured companies to hire Lynch’s lobbying firm. He would allegedly receive kickbacks when Lynch was hired.
Pullman allegedly used a union debit card to pay for $9,000 in flowers, $8,000 at restaurants, and thousands of dollars on a trip to Miami with a woman he was having an affair with.
FBI Boston special agent in charge Joseph Bonavolonta said Pullman spent union money on champagne and caviar, a fully loaded Chevy Suburban, trips and $10,000 on a night out on the town.
“As president of SPAM, we believe Pullman wielded the union like a criminal enterprise, running it like an old school mob boss, conspiring with Lynch to steal tens of thousands of dollars from its members and the Commonwealth,” said Bonavolonta. “In carrying out their schemes, they crossed over the thin blue line to committing felonies.”
Current State Police Association President Sgt. Mark Lynch said in a statement the organization is “appalled” by the allegations.
The current leadership of the State Police Association of Massachusetts fully cooperated with this investigation. In the first 60 days after I took office, I replaced all of the professional services providers, including our lobbyist. Based upon the new team’s recommendations, we instituted accounting, auditing and oversight procedures to ensure the integrity of all of our systems. As an organization, we are appalled and angered, by the nature and extent of these allegations. Our current members are honest, hardworking, and dedicated to public service.
When the FBI started investigating, Lelling said Pullman and Lynch obstructed justice by manipulating financial records. Lynch allegedly lied to law enforcement.
Pullman resigned in September amid the State Police overtime investigation that led to the arrests of several troopers. The arrests made on Wednesday are not connected to the overtime scandal.
Since the majority of union funds come from dues paid by State Police, Lelling said those men and women are the true victims of the alleged crimes.
“More than 1,500 men and women at the State Police trusted Pullman to work for him in their best interests. Based on the complaint unsealed today he betrayed their trust and, simply put, took their money,” said Lelling.
A Massachusetts State Police spokesman released a statement following the arrests.
Colonel Gilpin and her command staff demand and expect that department members follow the law and department policy in all aspects of their professional and personal lives, including union activities. The conduct as alleged in the criminal complaint represents serious offenses and violates the ideals and values of the Massachusetts State Police. The department has cooperated and will continue to cooperate with the United States Attorney’s Office and continues to fulfill its mission through the countless troopers who protect our state with dedication, courage, and integrity every day.
A lawyer for Pullman said his client denies the charges.
“He received no kickbacks or bribes of any kind, he acted at all times in the best interest of the Mass State Police Union, he served the Union as President for 6 years with great success and total loyalty and denies that he ever acted in a manner that betrayed his obligations to the Union,” Martin G. Weinberg said in a statement. “He intends to challenge the specific allegations in Court.
Greg D’Agostino, partner at Lynch Associates, said in a statement that Anne Lynch is no longer affiliated with the firm.
“Anne Lynch is no longer affiliated with Lynch Associates and has had no ownership interest in the firm since 2016,” he said. “She performed consulting services for a limited number of clients until 2018. At Lynch Associates, we take pride in our integrity and dedication to our clients. We will not be commenting any further on this matter.”
Pullman and Lynch appeared in court Wednesday afternoon and were released on $25,000 unsecured bond.