Congressman John Tierney has rebutted accusations by his convicted brother-in-law that he had been aware of the illegal off shore gambling operation for which Daniel Eremian faces three years in federal prison, and said the accusations were motivated by bitterness and "old family grudges."
In a statement issued late last night, the Salem congressman for the 6th district said: "Daniel Eremian spent the last several years telling anyone who would listen, including a federal judge and jury, that he was innocent of charges the government accused him of committing.
"Now he is claiming both to be innocent and that John Tierney should have known that he was guilty," Tierney said in the emailed statement to the Times. "His claims lack both credibility and logic.
"The fact of the matter is, John Tierney knew exactly what Federal Judge Tauro, an Assistant U.S. attorney, and a supervising parole officer thought they knew when they issued a Court Order in 2002 to allow Robert Eremian to return to Antigua to continue working at Sports Off Shore, a legal internet gambling company," Tierney's statement reads. "After a thorough and exhaustive investigation, Republican-appointed Federal Judge Young said that John Tierney was 'not implicated in this in any way, shape or form.'"
"Sadly, despite John's attempts to keep things civil on the rare family occasions when Daniel was present, they did not get along. It is unfortunate that Daniel's bitterness would rise to this level," said Kathryn Prael, Tierney spokeswoman.
Responses from Tierney and his wife, Patrice, were emailed to the Times late last night, hours after Daniel Eremian, after his federal court sentencing, told reporters that John Tierney, the 6th District congressman, is "the biggest liar in the world" and "knew everything that was going on" regarding the Eremians' illegal gaming operations and the role played by Patrice Tierney, the congressman's wife. He said Tierney's claims to the contrary are "hogwash," adding that Tierney "sat in the boxes with bookies at Fenway Park." Eremian also said he believed his sister, Patrice Tierney, was "railroaded" into a guilty plea to save the congressman's career.
Tierney's email began: "Today, clearly bitter at having lost his case and harboring old family grudges, Daniel Eremian made bizarre, unsubstantiated, and false comments."
Patrice Tierney said, "It shocks and saddens me to learn that my brother would say something so utterly false about me and my husband in a moment of desperation and anger. My husband has been nothing but supportive of me during this time, especially during my decision making process in the Fall of 2010 when I took responsibility and paid a price for it.
"It is demeaning for my brother to infer that I am not intelligent enough, even with the counsel of a well respected lawyer, to make my own decisions," Patrice Tierney added in her emailed statement.
Eremian and his brother, Robert, who is a fugitive, were convicted and Patrice pleaded guilty in 2010 to helping Robert file false tax returns. She served a month in prison and remains on probation.
Tierney has always said he was unaware of any illegal activities on the part of his wife with regard to her family.
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Richard Gaines can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3464, or at email@example.com.