Thursday, November 3, 2011 : Congressman's wife again in court…this time as a witness
The family of Patricia Tierney, wife of US Congressman John Tierney, appears to have strong associations with the world of online gambling, with Mrs. Tierney again scheduled for a court appearance, this time as a witness in a case against her brother, Daniel Eremian, who faces racketeering and other charges related to online gambling.
The Boston Globe, which carried the report, stressed that none of the wife's activities involved her politician husband.
The news that Patricia Tierney is to be called as a witness emerged when federal prosecutors in the case against her brother said she would testify. The charges involve Eremian's involvement in an alleged online gambling ring, and prosecutors claim that Tierney's brothers and her son were all involved in illegal gambling.
InfoPowa readers will recall that the Congressman's wife has previously been called into federal court over a brother’s alleged connection to the gambling ring. Last year, she pleaded guilty to helping another brother, Robert Eremian, file false tax returns and was sentenced to serve a month in prison and five months of house arrest. Robert Eremian remains a fugitive on racketeering charges.
Assistant US District Attorney Fred M. Wyshak Jr. said in his opening statements in the current case that Mrs. Tierney will discuss a local bank account that received millions of dollars in gambling profits.
Daniel Eremian and a co-defendant, Todd Lyons, face charges of racketeering, money laundering and operating an illegal gambling business.
Wyshak said they ran an illegal gambling company based in Antigua called Sports Off Shore from 1997 through 2010. The company allegedly grossed more than $22 million in 13 years in operation, and employed dozens of people.
At least $10 million was funneled into an account in Massachusetts that Patrice Tierney used to manage her family’s affairs, Wyshak claimed, adding that Eremian and Lyons, who collected money for the operation in Massachusetts, were key players in the illegal enteprise.
“You will see that this is an organization that day in, day out, for almost 15 years engaged in the same criminal activity, over and over again,” Wyshak said. “This is your [typical criminal] organization stretching from Massachusetts to Florida, Belize and Antigua, and it’s about making money.”
Lawyers for the defendants are trying to convince the jurors that there is a difference between obvious, illegal street gambling, and the type of Internet gambling operation that their clients ran out of Antigua. They claim that there is no evidence that Eremian or Lyons took bets in person, or that they thought Internet gambling was illegal.