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Capital Source

In need of cash, Brian Joyce sells office — with help from his wife

Brian Joyce left a federal court in Worcester after he posted bond and was released.
Brian Joyce left a federal court in Worcester after he posted bond and was released.(John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/File 2017)

Short on cash amid his fight against federal corruption charges, former state Senator Brian A. Joyce has scored some help in selling his Canton law office, including from his own wife.

Joyce, who is facing 113 counts including racketeering and extortion charges, has reached an agreement to sell the 4,900-square-foot office authorities raided in 2016 as part of their investigation into the former Milton Democrat.

It’s a move, his lawyers wrote in a court filing, that Joyce needs for both “living expenses and for his defense” as he continues to fight a prosecutors’ attempt to disqualify his attorney, Howard Cooper, from his legal team.

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But first, he needed a hand. Joyce had secured his $250,000 bond in court using the mortgage of the Washington Street office, meaning he needed a court order to modify the conditions of his release and allow for an unsecured bond. A federal judge approved that Friday.

Left unsaid in court documents, however, was that his wife, Mary Joyce, also served as the listing agent for Coldwell Banker, which is guaranteed an equal share of the broker’s fee for the sale, along with the buyer’s agent.

Both the final purchase price and the buyer were redacted from court documents, but the property was last assessed at $785,600, according to town records. Joyce had originally listed it at $995,000, according to a copy of the listing that disclosed that Mary Joyce “is related to [the] seller.”

The sale is expected to close in the coming weeks, Joyce’s attorneys wrote. A message left for Mary Joyce was not immediately returned Monday.

Joyce, an attorney and former assistant minority leader in the Senate, has pleaded not guilty after federal prosecutors accused him of taking $1 million in bribes and kickbacks laundered through his (soon-to-be-former) Canton law office.

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A judge ruled last month that prosecutors had convinced a grand jury that Joyce likely used Cooper to hide his alleged criminal behavior.

But that fight, his attorneys argued, has left Joyce’s resources “sapped by the cost” of opposing the prosecutor’s motions, including “the cost of hosting the Government’s automatic disclosure of approximately 1.5 million pages of documents, which alone costs approximately $5,000 monthly.”

In convincing Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy to allow him to be free on an unsecured bond, Joyce’s attorney’s cited two cases well-known in Massachusetts politics: That of former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, who was convicted, and has since been released, on charges he accepted kickbacks, and former Senator Dianne Wilkerson, who was convicted of accepting bribes.

Before their convictions, DiMasi had been out on a $10,000 bond, and Wilkerson on $50,000. Copies of both their bonds were including in Joyce’s court filings, meaning they’re now an official record in the latest allegation of Beacon Hill corruption.


Andrea Estes contributed to this report. Reach Matt Stout at matt.stout@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattpstout