Feds arrest former Fitchburg state Sen. Dean Tran on nearly 30 fraud charges

Federal law enforcement arrested former Massachusetts State Senator Dean Tran this morning on nearly 30 fraud charges for allegedly misusing state unemployment assistance and failing to report income to the IRS.

Tran, 48, of Fitchburg, was indicted on 25 counts of wire fraud and three counts of filing false tax returns and will appear in federal court in Boston at 1:30 p.m. today.

“The indictment returned by the grand jury alleges that Former State Senator Tran exploited pandemic unemployment benefits — diverting critical resources intended for deserving individuals genuinely in need,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “Our office and our law enforcement partners are committed to safeguarding the integrity of public assistance programs and holding accountable those who exploit them – no matter who they are — particularly during times of widespread hardship.”

Tran, who first represented portions of Worcester and Middlesex countries from 2017, allegedly applied for unemployment assistance after his senate term ended in January 2021 despite having accepted a job as a consultant for a New Hampshire-based automotive parts company, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

He would allegedly collect more than $30,000 in unemployment aid despite being employed, but that’s not where the alleged fraud ended, as he also allegedly hid his income from the consulting job — more than $50,000 — as well as thousands of more dollars in rental income from tenants of his Fitchburg property from 2020 to 2022.

Tran is no stranger to legal troubles.

In the summer of 2022, he faced six criminal charges related to the theft of a firearm — to which he pleaded “absolutely not guilty” in Middlesex Superior Court on July 2022 — while running for the a seat in Congress against incumbent and eventual winner U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, a Westford Democrat.

Just two months ago, state Attorney General Andrea Campbell announced that Tran was arrested for allegedly violating state ethics laws. Tran faced two counts of use of an official position to secure unwarranted privilege for allegedly using his state senate staff to campaign for him on state time and payroll.

This is a developing story.

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