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Merrimack Valley

January 24, 2013

US Attorney says ex-Methuen official falsified records

Michael McLaughlin charged with falsely reporting his salary while director of Chelsea housing authority

BOSTON — Ex-Chelsea Housing Authority Executive Director Michael E. McLaughlin faces federal charges for falsely reporting his salary in annual budgets required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged McLaughlin, 67, of Dracut, a former Methuen town manager, with four counts of falsifying a record in a federal agency matter, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court yesterday. McLaughlin was forced to resign from the Chelsea Housing Authority last November after it was revealed he had under-reported his salary by $200,000 to state officials.

The information filed yesterday by federal prosecutors alleged that McLaughlin “knowingly concealed, falsified, and made false entries, and caused such concealment and false entries, in records and documents,” namely, the annual fiscal year budgets of the Chelsea Housing Authority from 2008 to 2011, and submitted them electronically to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

McLaughlin falsely stated that his budgeted annual salary was $151,945, when he knew that his actual salary for Fiscal Year 2008 was at least $242,908 under his existing contract, according to the court documents. It is further alleged that McLaughlin made the same kind of concealment of his rising salary in the ensuing three years. Specifically, in Fiscal Year 2009 McLaughlin falsely reported that his budgeted annual salary was $156,503, when he knew that his actual salary was at least $267,199 under his existing contract and his total compensation was at least $292,902, as reflected in his 2008 W-2.

Then in Fiscal Year 2010, McLaughlin falsely reported that his budgeted annual salary was $160,415, when he knew that his actual salary was at least $275,215 under his existing contract and his total compensation was at least $324,896, as reflected in his 2009 W-2. In Fiscal Year 2011 McLaughlin falsely reported that his budgeted annual salary was $160,415, when he knew that his actual salary was at least $283,471 under his existing contract and his total compensation was at least $324,896, as reflected in his 2009 W-2.

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