Patrice Tierney, the wife of Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in prison on federal charges of aiding in the filing of false tax returns for her fugitive brother.
Prosecutors say that Patrice Tierney managed the finances of her brother, Robert Eremian, who runs an online gambling business out of Antigua and is under indictment in the U.S. for money laundering and illegal gambling. Between 2005 and 2006, court documents say, Tierney took care of a U.S. bank account for Eremian, keeping detailed records which she gave to her brother’s tax preparer. Eremian allegedly deposited some $7 million from illegal gambling proceeds into the account over those years.
Tierney pleaded guilty to the four counts in October. She will begin serving on Feb. 28, according to the Boston Globe.
The plea deal — which wasn’t binding for the judge — called for a lighter sentence of two years of probation and a $2,500 fine.
“There must be an actual sanction,” Judge William G. Young said today, over objections from prosecutors. He said a 30-day jail sentence is the norm for the charges.
After Tierney is released, she’ll serve two years of supervised release, including five months of house arrest.
According to the Globe, Tierney’s money management for her brother included paying bills for Eremian’s three children and their sick mother.
John Tierney has said his wife was misled by her brother, who told her he was operating a legal software business, according to the Boston Herald. Tierney, who represents a district on the North Shore of Massachusetts, has served in the House since 1997.