BOSTON — Former Rep. Nicholas Mavroules (D-Mass.) pleaded guilty Thursday to 15 racketeering and extortion charges but denied that he ever took a bribe.
Mavroules, a seven-term congressman unseated last year in an election dominated by the charges, agreed to plead guilty to all but two counts of the federal indictment in a deal with prosecutors days before his trial was to begin.
Prosecutors said they would recommend that Mavroules be sentenced to 18 months in jail, of which he would serve at least 15 months. He could receive up to 50 months under sentencing guidelines. Sentencing was scheduled for June 22.
"Whatever's facing me, I'm a man and I'll face it and I'll face it very honestly," Mavroules told reporters. "But I am not going to put my family through this."
Mavroules was indicted last August, less than two weeks before the state Democratic primary that he narrowly won. He lost by a wide margin in the general election.
In pleading guilty, Mavroules admitted accepting seven new automobiles for free, falsifying congressional financial disclosure statements and failing to report on tax returns gifts that he had received from 1985 through 1990.
Although he pleaded guilty to an extortion charge, Mavroules denied that he had extorted $12,000 from the family of an imprisoned constituent in return for his help in getting the prisoner transferred to Florida to be closer to his family.