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Feds: Dunkin’ Donuts operator bribed Massachusetts politician with . . . . . coffee

A federal indictment against a former Massachusetts state senator alleges he took hundred of pounds of coffee from a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner in exchange for help fighting legislation over the pooling of employee tips.

Universal Hub called it the “most Massachusetts political scandal ever.”

The indictment alleges that former state senator Brian Joyce took more than 500 pounds of coffee from the owner of about 100 Dunkin’ Donuts franchises. The retail value of the coffee was $4,278.

The coffee was in bags, boxes, and K-cups.

Sen. Joyce, 55, of Westport, allegedly brought the coffee to meetings he held with constituents and other groups.

The indictment also alleges that Sen. Joyce took kickbacks from an energy broker after Joyce pressured a town official to hire him.

And a developer allegedly gave Joyce a Jeep after Joyce helped him win a subdivision waiver in another town.

Sen. Joyce is charged with racketeering, extortion, honest services fraud, money laundering, and tax offenses. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is free on $250,000 bail. 

The DOJ said he brought some of the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee to a meeting of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, where he gave it out to city and town leaders and administrators.

An e-mail allegedly from Joyce to the franchisee said: “No decaf. Usually I bring around 200 bags to town halls, maybe fewer. We like k cups at my office, if possible.”

When the Boston Globe started working on a story about the coffee, Sen. Joyce allegedly gave the franchise owner, who hasn’t been charged in the case, backdated checks to cover up the bribery.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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