04/02/2012 03:26 pm ET Updated Jun 02, 2012

Tim Cahill, Former Massachusetts Treasurer, Indicted On Fraud And Conspiracy Charges

BOSTON, April 2 (Reuters) - Former Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill has been indicted on fraud and conspiracy charges for allegedly using the state's taxpayer-funded lottery advertising budget to boost his sagging gubernatorial campaign, the state attorney general said.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said a Suffolk County grand jury handed up the public corruption charges after her office alleged that Cahill directed the lottery to change the content and timing of its ad campaign to benefit him during the last weeks of his ailing gubernatorial bid.

"We are alleging that his fraudulent intent was to use the lottery (advertising) budget for his own benefit," Coakley said at a news conference, adding that he put his own interest ahead of that of the taxpayers.

If found guilty, Cahill could face prison time and penalties, Coakley said.

Cahill was first elected to the position of Treasurer, where he oversaw the state lottery and the state pension fund in 2002 as a Democrat. In 2010 he ran for governor as an independent but lost to incumbent Deval Patrick, a Democrat. (Reporting By Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Todd Eastham)