BOSTON (WWLP) – A former State Senator of Massachusetts was arrested Thursday for allegedly attempting to defraud the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance by collecting COVID benefits and failing to report income to the IRS.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, 48-year-old Dean Tran of Fitchburg has been indicted on 25 counts of wire fraud and three counts of filing false tax returns. According to the indictment, Tran fraudulently applied for COVID-19 pandemic unemployment benefits even though he was employed as a paid consultant for a New Hampshire company. It is alleged he collected $30,120 in pandemic unemployment benefits.

“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.

Tran also allegedly concealed more than $50,000 in consulting income that he received from the New Hampshire company on his 2021 federal income tax returns. Thousands of dollars from rental income was also concealed from the IRS, Tran had collected rent from tenants of a Fitchburg rental property between 2020 and 2022, according to the indictment.

“Dean Tran was once elected to serve taxpayers, but today we arrested him for allegedly cheating them out of tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent unemployment benefits that were meant to be a lifeline for those struggling for survival as a result of the pandemic,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “This former state senator allegedly made the conscious decision to repeatedly lie about his employment status and underreport his rental property income so he could get a tax break. The FBI and our partners are working hard every day to shut down such fraud schemes and protect the public from being fleeced.”

The COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force was created in May of 2021 to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.