Former president of the State Police union Dana Pullman and that union’s former lobbyist Anne Lynch were convicted in federal court on multiple fraud-related charges.
“It was pay to play” with Pullman and Lynch, prosecutor Kristina Barclay summarized in her closing statement last week in the trial whose opening arguments had begun Oct. 3 in the federal courthouse in the Seaport.
Former State Police Association of Massachusetts President Pullman, 60, of Worcester, and lobbyist Lynch, 71, of Hull were convicted by a federal jury of one count each of racketeering conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and three counts of wire fraud.
Pullman was additionally convicted on two counts each of wire fraud and aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return. Lynch was also convicted on a count of obstruction of justice and four counts of aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return.
Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for March 8.
The case played out through a steady stream of financial documents and statements. Those numbers showed not only SPAM reimbursements to Pullman for things from fancy dinners to a multi-day stay at a luxe Miami resort for Pullman and a romantic interest but also a series of what prosecutors Barclay and Neil Gallagher Jr. called kickbacks or bribes.
In addition to the $7,000 the union paid Lynch Associates to lobby on its behalf, and an additional $2,500 per month for public relations work starting in 2016, prosecutors say that Pullman used his position to direct businesses — including the TASER company — toward employing the firm. For this, he would get checks that rose to $20,000 a pop that were sometimes written as a “consulting fee” and sometimes made out to his wife.
The fraud and corruption all began when SPAM retained Lynch associates for work on a lawsuit against the state for better compensation for troopers working on days off — called the “Days-off lost” grievance — that finally resolved in a $22 million written settlement in 2014.
In his own oft-literary closing, Pullman defense attorney Brendan Kelley told a perhaps apocryphal but illustrative Abraham Lincoln tale in which the future president was asked a riddle: How many legs would a sheep have if its tail were called a leg? Four, Lincoln was said to have answered, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it so.
Instead of proving their allegations, Kelley said, prosecutors were banking on Pullman’s image as a “brash, loud, overbearing union boss” to sway opinion against him, and witnesses, when questioned about a bad act they couldn’t explain, just had to “point at the big bad wolf over there” to explain their own failures.
Lynch’s attorney, Scott Lopez, followed suit and called the whole ordeal “not an investigation into a crime,” but “an investigation in search of a crime.”
Jurors disagreed, as the foreperson wrote “Proven” under every special finding on racketeering acts line on the verdict slip returned at 1:20 p.m. save for one: an obstruction of justice finding relating to agents’ interview of Lynch on Oct. 17, 2018.