For a half-dozen years, Dana Pullman (in photo) headed a union representing law enforcement officers. He’s now become acquainted with law enforcement in a very different way. Two days ago, on August 21, Pullman, former president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, was arrested at his home and then charged in Boston federal court with wire fraud, honest services fraud and obstruction in connection with the misuse of an estimated $75,000 in funds from the Boston-based union. A now-retired state lobbyist, Anne Lynch, also was arrested and charged. Pullman’s attorney, Martin Weinberg, says his client denies all charges and “never acted in a manner that compromised his loyalty to his union.” Each defendant has been released on a $25,000 bond. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI and the IRS.
Dana Pullman, now 57, a resident of Worcester, headed the more than 1,500-member State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) during 2012-18. According to FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph Bonavolonta, his style was that of “an old school mob boss,” conspiring with Lynch to steal tens of thousands of dollars from its members and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, working with the FBI and the IRS, began investigating SPAM finances in July 2018. At the time, the focus was on whether Pullman and other unnamed persons had been involved in the misappropriation of political donations. Several months later, the scope of the investigation broadened to include the possibility of fraud by the union and Lynch’s lobbying firm, Lynch Associates, which she had founded in 2001. It turned out there was much to be discovered.
Among the alleged offenses, during 2014-15 Pullman pressured two unnamed companies seeking state contracts to hire Ms. Lynch as a lobbyist, in return receiving a pair of $5,000 kickbacks from her. In addition, he demanded and received $250,000 from a $22 million overtime compensation settlement between SPAM and the state, and routed the money to Lynch’s Beacon Hill firm; this was in addition to the $100,000 that the union had paid to Lynch in retainer fees. When the union treasurer objected to this transfer, Pullman reportedly pounded his fist on the table and yelled, ‘Stop breaking my fucking balls and give me the check.” Once having received the money, Lynch allegedly wrote herself a $50,000 check and then wrote a $20,000 check to Pullman’s wife.
In addition to this, Pullman allegedly enriched himself with a union debit card. Among the decidedly non-business expenses were $9,300 for flowers for family and friends, $8,000 for restaurant meals, $2,000 in iTunes purchases, $21,371 for a payment on a 2017 Chevy SUV, and a romantic getaway with an unnamed woman at the Palms Hotel in Miami Beach. He also received about $40,000 in union reimbursement checks for unauthorized expenses. He and Lynch also reportedly tried to hide financial records from a grand jury subpoena, going so far as to ask an attorney representing the union to delay handing over the records. Moreover, Pullman allegedly lied during interviews with law enforcement and encouraged union board members to file false expense reports to conceal the thefts.
Neither Dana Pullman nor Anne Lynch are currently engaged at their jobs. Pullman resigned from the union last fall during the federal probe. Lynch, who had made nearly $1 million in fees from the union over the last decade, retired in 2016, selling her business to two family members. Their main job now is staying out of prison. And that may be very difficult because federal officials are confident the charges are well-founded. “Through flagrant and repeated acts of greed, Pullman treated the (union) bank account like his own personal piggy bank,” said Kristina O’Connell, IRS Special Agent-in-Charge. Similarly, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling remarked, “Entrusted with representing the interests of Massachusetts State Police, troopers and sergeants, Pullman, with Lynch’s help, betrayed that trust to line his own pockets with association funds.”