Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

Assistant Director of Real Estate, John Lynch Pleads Guilty to Bribery and False Tax Return

John M. Lynch, 66, the former Assistant Director of Real Estate at the Economic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC), a division of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), agreed to plead guilty today to accepting $50,000 in bribes from a Boston real estate developer in exchange for Lynch using his official influence to secure a key Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) vote that favored the real estate developer on his federal tax return.

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Lynch, a Boston resident, was charged today by information with one count of bribery involving an organization receiving federal funds, and one count of filing a false federal tax return that failed to report his receipt of the bribe payments. According to the terms of a plea agreement also filed today, the government will recommend to the Court a sentence within the range of 46 to 57 months’ imprisonment.

In 2017, the Boston real estate developer sought to sell a parcel of residential real estate in Boston, but needed ZBA approval to extend a permit that would have allowed the property to be sold as a multi-unit development.  To get the permit extension, the developer agreed to pay $50,000 in cash bribes and a check to Lynch, in return for Lynch using his influence at the BPDA to secure a vote from a ZBA member. The permit extension helped the real estate developer realize an additional half million dollars in profits that the developer otherwise would not have received absent the permit.  After getting the permit extension, Lynch accepted $25,000 in cash payments and another $25,000 check, which Lynch used to pay a personal bill.  Lynch then failed to report those and another $10,000 payment he had received from the real estate developer.

Lynch faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater, and forfeiture.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, Joseph Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division, and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Chao of Lelling’s Public Corruption Unit is prosecuting the case.

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