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Boston Official Agrees To Plead Guilty To Bribery Charge

A former city of Boston official on Friday agreed to plead guilty to charges he took $50,000 in bribes from a real estate developer in exchange for wielding influence to get a key project permit approved.

John Lynch, 66, was the assistant director of the city's Economic Development Industrial Corporation (a division of the planning agency) in 2017 when he allegedly took the bribes from the unnamed developer, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling's office.

The developer needed approval from the city's Zoning Board of Appeals to sell his property as a multi-family development, the statement explained. That required a permit extension, and for Lynch's help in swaying a zoning board member, the developer agreed to give Lynch two $25,000 payments, according to Lelling's office.

As a result, the developer was able to "realize an additional half million dollars in profits that the developer otherwise would not have received absent the permit," the statement said.

Lynch reportedly used some of the money to pay a personal bill. He also failed to report the $50,000 or an additional $10,000 he received from the developer. It is unclear what the other payment was for.

Lynch agreed to plead guilty to one count of bribery involving an organization receiving federal funds, and one count of filing a false federal tax return that failed to report his receipt of the bribe payments, according to Lelling's office.

Under a plea agreement also filed Friday, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Prosecutors recommended Lynch serve 46 to 57 months in jail.

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