The seven-term Massachusetts Democrat Representative John Tierney is facing an election coming up; his wife Patrice is facing jail time. Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty to four counts of aiding and abetting the filing of false federal tax returns all resulting from her managing more than a $7 million bank account stemming from her brother, Robert Eremian’s online gambling business.
Eremian’s site, PlayLegal.com, used a site based in Antigua but operated out of the United States. All told it was a 442-count indictment includes charges of racketeering, money laundering and filing false tax returns. There were also 75 counts of violating the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
John Tierney voted against the UIGEA in 2006 and has claimed that this indictment would not keep him from voting for legalizing online gambling in the future. He has said that he has not read the current bill that Barney Frank has been trying to get in front of Congress in the last couple months. Tierney claims that he sees no conflict of interest in his wife’s indictment and his vote.
“I can’t see how I would have any personal gain one way or the other,” he said. “That’s usually the measure. It has nothing to do with me personally.”
As far as when or what he knew about his wife’s family dealings, Tierney claims he did not know anything saying in a brief debate with his Republican opponent Bill Hudak,
“Let me, first of all, say that this is the 21st century and what Patrice does with her family and a family business is not something as her husband that I look over and monitor day to day.”
Patrice did address the court at her proceedings and told the judge that she took full responsibility for what she has done. She has been released on her own recognizance until her hearing for sentence on January 13th.