Meanwhile, the two principal players in the Sports Off Shore operation, Robert Eremian, the congressman’s other brother-in-law, who prosecutors say is the head of the online gambling business, and Richard Sullivan, remain fugitives in Antigua.
Prosecutors Fred Wyshak and Robert Fisher suggested that Daniel Eremian had a “special role” in the operation, the only agent of the business to receive 100 percent commissions and the one who arranged to purchase aircraft for his brother but title it in his own name.
“It is Mr. Daniel Eremian who goes to Antigua to help Robert Eremian set up that business,” Wyshak said.
Wyshak said Daniel Eremian’s involvement in illegal gambling, which the prosecutor called “the family business,” dated back years, even to when he owned Brodie’s Pub, where, witnesses testified, some of the cash owed to various agents of the Eremian operation could be left in envelopes.
Daniel Eremian told the judge that the envelopes were of such little significance to him that he did not even recall them until the trial.
Prosecutors say that Lyons became involved in the business when he took over the “book” that had belonged to John Chew, Patrice Tierney’s son.
Marc Nurik, Eremian’s lawyer, also suggested that prosecutors were trying to punish his client because they can’t reach his brother.
Eremian, outside the courtroom, said he feels like both he and his sister were left holding the bag for their brother’s activities.
But Saris suggested that both Eremian and Lyons played key roles in the organization, even if they were not in a managerial capacity. The two men collected upward of $20 million from various agents around the country, said the judge and arranged for that money, minus their commissions, to go to Robert Eremian in Antigua.
“They were not runners,” Saris said. “They controlled the banks, they settled disputes, and that makes them very important people.”