Massachusetts state senator's bribery scheme ran on Dunkin

In some cases it was an internship for a relative, or a free Jeep, or even hundreds of pounds of coffee from Dunkin Donuts. In other cases, it was a wire transfer for thousands of dollars.

In all cases, it was illegal.

Former Massachusetts state Sen. Brian Joyce was arrested Friday on more than 100 charges, including extortion, money laundering, and racketeering, following a lengthy investigation by the FBI. Over at least six years, Joyce received a “stream of concealed bribes and kickbacks” in exchange for his official position on certain matters, which included pressuring other officials to act in that interest, according to the indictment.


The 102-page indictment released Friday said Joyce’s objective was to “secretly profit” from his official position, where he’d served nine consecutive terms since 1998. The 55-year-old state senator announced last year he wouldn’t be seeking re-election, just weeks after the FBI and the IRS raided his law offices.

“We believe Mr. Joyce was greedy, plain and simple,” Harold Shaw, special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said Friday. “As alleged, he blurred the line between public duties and private business and failed to act in the best interest of his constituents.”

Here are three of the wildest charges in the indictment:

  • Between 2011 and 2016, Joyce ran a complex scheme with a New York-based energy company, “Energy Broker Company,” where he would get paid for pushing policies or contracts through that would benefit the company. For example, Joyce was paid a total kickback of $20,071 for advising the town manager of Randolph, a small suburban town south of Boston, to hire EBC as the exclusive energy contractor. This type of exchange happened for multiple towns.

Joyce made the energy company agree “not to knowingly disclose the existence to this agreement” as one way to hide the misdeeds.

  • In another instance, as early as October 2012, Joyce helped a developer get his hands on a property that had been run-down. Joyce repeatedly pestered the planning board to approve the various waivers on the project, which otherwise would have cost the developer plenty. In return, Joyce received a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and several other checks.

To make matters worse, when asked by the planning board about Joyce’s involvement in the project, the developer replied, “I have not paid him one dollar… he said he would not accept any payment from any party… he’s just doing this because he was trying to help out the Women’s club.”

  • The indictment labels one of Joyce’s schemes as the “Coffee Franchise Bribery Scheme,” which is exactly what it was. Between roughly 2010 and 2015, the franchise owner paid Joyce $125,089 and thousands of dollars worth of coffee for Joyce to take favorable positions on legislation that protected small businesses.

In one effort to cover his tracks, Joyce falsely backdated a check to make it look like he had paid for coffee about 2 years later.