30 Day Sentence for Rep Tierneys Wife

Published on: January 17, 2011 

A US District Judge, William G. Young, sentenced Patrice Tierney, the wife of US Representative John F. Tierney, to a month in prison on 13th January 2011.  The sentence is to be followed by five months house arrest.  The judge rejected her plea deal with prosecutors and insisted that she should face a prison term like any other tax offender.

Patrice Tierney, 60, had pleaded guilty in October to four counts of aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns for her brother, as part of an agreement with prosecutors.  Tierney’s brother, Robert Eremian, has been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering.  He ran a large-scale illegal gambling business from early in 1980 until the beginning of 2010 and after State Police raided his Lynnfield office in 1996 he moved the business’s headquarters to Antigua.

Tierney’s lawyer said that she believed that her brother was being paid legitimate commissions as a consultant when she began overseeing his Massachusetts affairs after he went to Antigua.   She paid the bills for Eremian’s three children and their mother during the period 2003 and 2009, balanced the bank account and provided his tax preparer with information which resulted in false tax filings.  The prosecutors claim that the bank account collected more than $7 million in illegal gambling profits instead of commissions.

Prosecutors had recommended that Tierney receive 90 days house arrest followed two years probation but Young had warned Tierney as far back as October that his sentencing might not match the plea deal.  He added that she was facing the possibility of a much heavier sentence by pleading guilty.

Although Tierney’s lawyer told the judge that she was a good person who made a mistake, Young felt that it was not a mistake and that people are not guilty of tax crimes because of making mistakes and said that she should have been sentenced to up to six months in prison.

Both Patrice Tierney, as well as the congressman who accompanied her at US District Court in South Boston on 13th January, seemed caught off guard by Tierney’s sentence.

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