Former Sen. Tran Indicted Again, This Time For COVID Fraud

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BOSTON (State House News Service) — Former Sen. Dean Tran's legal troubles expanded Friday when he was arrested and charged in federal court for allegedly collecting fraudulent unemployment benefits and failing to disclose income to the IRS.

Federal prosecutors announced a 28-count indictment against the Fitchburg resident alleging that after he departed the Massachusetts Senate in 2021, he collected $30,120 in pandemic unemployment benefits while also working as a paid consultant for a New Hampshire automotive parts company.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy's office also alleged that Tran failed to disclose more than $50,000 he earned from consulting for the company -- which prosecutors did not identify -- on his 2021 federal tax return as well as rental income he collected from tenants of a Fitchburg property.

Tran, who in September was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on two counts of violating state ethics laws, now also faces 25 counts of wire fraud and three counts of filing false tax returns in a federal case, according to Levy's office. He is set to appear in federal court in Boston at 1:30 p.m., officials said.

An attorney representing Tran in another ongoing case did not immediately return a call seeking a response to the latest indictment of his client Friday morning.

"Dean Tran was once elected to serve taxpayers, but today we arrested him for allegedly cheating them out of tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent unemployment benefits that were meant to be a lifeline for those struggling for survival as a result of the pandemic," Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division, said in a statement. "This former state senator allegedly made the conscious decision to repeatedly lie about his employment status and underreport his rental property income so he could get a tax break. The FBI and our partners are working hard every day to shut down such fraud schemes and protect the public from being fleeced."

The 48-year-old Republican narrowly lost his 2020 reelection bid to Sen. John Cronin, a Democrat. He unsuccessfully challenged Democrat U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan in 2022.

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