Former candidate arrested on campaign finance charges

Accused of raising money illegally to help fund hotel business

A FORMER Massachusetts congressional candidate was arrested Tuesday and accused of soliciting at least $125,000 of illegal campaign contributions from friends and family members and steering some of the funds into his hotel business.

Abhijit Das, a resident of North Andover who ran in the Democratic primary for Congress in the Third Congressional District in 2018, pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney, Neil Faigel, said he is in the initial stages of reviewing the indictment with his client. “I would like to ask that you do not jump to any conclusions based solely upon the allegations,” he wrote in response to a request for comment. “Time and again, cases that have a political component are inherently complicated.” 

The indictment filed by the US Attorney’s office alleges Das violated provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act and made false statements. Specifically, he was accused of falsely asserting that loans to his campaign came from his own personal funds, accepting a campaign contribution in excess of the legal limit of $2,700, and accepting a campaign contribution from one person even though the money for that contribution came from another.

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Das came in sixth out of 10 candidates in the crowded Democratic primary for Congress, garnering 1.7 percent of the vote. The seat was won by Democrat Lori Trahan.

Das is an attorney and the managing director of the legal and business advisory firm Troca Global Advisors. According to his LinkedIn profile, he spent several years practicing law in areas including business and finance and was the president and chief executive officer of Troca Hotels & Yachts from 2012 to 2019. He received a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 2000. 

Das was released on probation until his next court date of August 11. Until then, his travel is restricted to New England, New York, and Florida and he is prohibited from being in contact with all but two witnesses who are family members.