An accountant for former state senator Brian A. Joyce, who was found dead last year while facing a federal indictment on corruption charges, was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday of conspiring with the Milton Democrat to defraud the IRS of about $600,000, prosecutors said.
John H. Nardozzi, 67, a certified public accountant from Waltham, was convicted after a seven-day trial of defrauding the IRS from 2011 through 2014, said a statement from the US attorney’s office for Massachusetts.
Prosecutors said Nardozzi manipulated income that should have been reported on Joyce’s corporate tax return by applying it to Joyce’s personal tax return.
Nardozzi was also convicted of falsely creating a single-employment pension fund for Joyce and his wife that they were not entitled to, according to the US attorney’s office. Through such a scheme, Nardozzi enabled the couple to defer taxes on about $400,000 of income, prosecutors said.
He also helped Joyce in an illegal rollover of his single-employment pension fund account to buy stock in a private company without following the rules, authorities said. Prosecutors have said both Joyces withdrew money from their retirement accounts and should have been subject to fees and taxes because they were under 59½ years old.
Additionally, Nardozzi, who was a Joyce campaign donor, attributed income from Joyce’s law firm to Joyce’s wife even though she never worked for the firm, officials said.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9. Nardozzi could face up to five years behind bars for conspiracy to defraud and up to three years for aiding and assisting in filing a false tax return, according to federal authorities. He could also face six-figure fines.
Attempts to reach Nardozzi’s attorneys and lawyers who had represented Joyce were not immediately successful Wednesday evening.
Joyce served as a lawmaker for decades and climbed the ranks of leadership in the Senate. A former state representative, he was elected to the Senate in 1997. He announced in early 2016 that he would not seek reelection.
In December 2017, a sweeping indictment accused Joyce of taking bribes and kickbacks that he laundered through his law firm and of turning his Senate office into a criminal enterprise. The accusations followed stories published in the Globe that examined his mingling of public and personal business.
Joyce had pleaded not guilty to the 113-count indictment charging him with mail fraud, corruption, money laundering, and embezzlement. Federal authorities accused him of collecting about $1 million in bribes and kickbacks since 2010 through various schemes.
Prosecutors said, among other things, that Joyce had extorted a Jeep from a Milton developer and collected more than $100,000 in phony legal fees from the owner of a Dunkin’ Donuts shop, in exchange for using his influence to help them.
Joyce was found dead in his Westport home in late September of last year. He was 56. The state’s chief medical examiner’s office said he died from an overdose of a powerful medication that’s typically used to treat insomnia.
He died of “acute pentobarbital intoxication,” but the medical examiner was unable to determine the manner of his death, including whether it was an accident or suicide.
The office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III has said that no foul play was suspected.
Quinn’s office said that a postmortem toxicology test found elevated levels of pentobarbital, a powerful sedative, and a “slightly elevated level” of citalopram, an antidepressant.
The US attorney in Massachusetts, Andrew E. Lelling, formally dismissed the charges against Joyce in October, citing his death, according to a court filing.
Following Joyce’s death, his family asked that donations be made in his memory to the Innocence Project, to “help the victims of wrongful prosecution.”
The Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization based in New York, seeks to exonerate the wrongly convicted through the use of DNA evidence.