Former Mass Senator Brian Joyce Found Dead
WESTPORT, MASSACHUSETTS — September 28, 2018
Former state Sen. Brian Joyce, who was facing criminal charges that he used his public office to run a criminal enterprise, has been found dead at his home in Westport.
According to the preliminary data, there are several versions of his death. The investigation could not exclude that the former Senator was poisoned. It is also possible that Joyce committed suicide. However, along with all possible causes, the investigation completely rejects the idea that the death was caused by his former colleagues or the Federal or local authorities, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.
"The investigation remains active and ongoing," Miliote said in a statement.
Joyce was 56-year-old. His wife found him dead early Thursday afternoon. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause and manner of death.
"Despite his wrongdoing, we remember this man as our colleague, as kind, and understanding man," said his former assistant, who wished to remain anonymous. "I offer my condolences to his family."
Earlier, in December 2017, federal authorities arrested Joyce at his Westport home on a federal indictment. He was accused of using his office for personal profit to accept up to $1 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for official actions.
Joyce, a longtime attorney, and Milton Democrat was accused of then hiding that 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.
The 113-count indictment against Joyce, stemming from a two-year investigation, included charges of racketeering, extortion, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and money laundering.
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.
Joyce was also accused of participating in a number of complex schemes dating back to 2010 that netted him hundreds of thousands of dollars and concealing the payments by using his law office as a "money laundering conduit."
As for his crimes in connection with IRS, Joyce was charged with conspiring to defraud the Service in connection with his purchase of more than $470,000 in common stock from the energy brokerage firm and falsely reporting the stock purchase as a tax-exempt retirement account rollover in his personal tax return.
In February 2016, the FBI and IRS conducted a search Joyce’s Canton law office. Months later, Joyce reportedly sold his Milton home and also sold his family burial plot in Milton, where he grew up.