Illegal Gambling as a Family Business

Congressman's wife a witness in court against her brother

Patricia Tierney, wife of US Congressman John Tierney, was scheduled for a court appearance, this time as a witness in a case against her brother, Daniel Eremian, who was charged with racketeering and other crimes related to online gambling. Mrs Tierney's family obviously has strong associations with the world of online gambling, but none of the activities involved her politician husband.

Her appearance in court as a witness was announced when federal prosecutors in the case against her brother confirmed her testimony. The prosecutors claim that Tierney's brothers and her son were all involved in illegal gambling, and she has previously been called into federal court over a brother's alleged connection to the online gambling ring.

It was only last year when the Congressman's wife 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, whilst Robert remains a fugitive on racketeering charges.

In his opening statements in the current case Assistant US District Attorney Fred M. Wyshak Jr. said Mrs. Tierney will be discussing a local bank account which received millions of dollars in gambling profits.On the other hand, Daniel Eremian and a co-defendant, Todd Lyons, face more serious charges of racketeering, money laundering and operating an illegal gambling business.

Wyshak claims that they ran an illegal gambling company Sports Off Shore, based in Antigua, and it allegedly grossed more than $22 million in 13 years of operation (from 1997 through 2010), and employed dozens of people. At least $10 million was transferred into an account in Massachusetts to be at Patrice Tierney's disposal, and Eremian and Lyons were key players in collecting money for the illegal operation.

“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.”

The defendants' lawyers are now trying to persuade the jurors that there is a difference between illegal street gambling, and the type of Internet gambling operation which their clients ran out of Antigua, adding that there is no evidence Eremian or Lyons took bets in person, or that they thought Internet gambling was illegal.

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