SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 7, 2014

Tierney’s brother-in-law gets early release from prison

Eremian's house arrest ended Tuesday

Julie Manganis
Staff writer

---- — SALEM — Daniel Eremian, Congressman John Tierney’s brother-in-law who was convicted of racketeering, has walked out of a federal prison in Florida.

But it wasn’t this week, a federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman said.

Eremian, 64, has been at home in Florida for months on house arrest, the final step toward completion of his sentence. That house arrest concluded on Tuesday.

The National Republican Congressional Committee yesterday put out a press release pointing reporters to an online story about Eremian’s release based on information taken off the Bureau of Prisons website, as well as an account of Eremian’s statements to reporters after his sentencing in June 2012, in which he accused Tierney of being “the biggest liar in the world.”

During his impromptu interview with reporters from The Salem News and The Boston Herald, Eremian accused Tierney of having “railroaded” his wife into accepting a plea agreement in order to protect his own political career, and he claimed that Tierney had shared boxes at Fenway Park with bookies.

“He knew everything that was going on,” Eremian, the former owner of Brodie’s Pub in Peabody, told reporters at the time.

A Tierney spokesman at the time denied the accusations, calling them the product of a “bitter” man.  

“John Tierney may want to put his legal problems behind him, but his worst nightmare just walked out of prison a year earlier than Tierney thought or hoped,” RNCC spokesman Ian Prior announced in his release. “Maybe now Massachusetts voters will finally get some answers about what Tierney knew, when he knew it, and why he has spent the past several years lying to them.”

It turns out, however, that Eremian has been on home confinement since Jan. 21, Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said. He spent several months in a halfway house before that.

In total, Eremian served one year, 10 months and nine days of his original three-year sentence, which was imposed in June 2012, six months after his conviction on charges that he helped run an illegal offshore betting business, called Sports Off Shore, allegedly owned by his brother Robert.  

The fact that he was released more than a year before his original sentence was completed is nothing unusual, Burke said. Federal law gives the Bureau of Prisons the authority to shave a year off of an inmate’s sentence if the inmate completes a substanc-abuse treatment program.

Burke said he could not specifically say whether Eremian took part in drug or alcohol treatment, but he acknowledged that it would be the only way for someone to receive that kind of time off his sentence from prison officials.

Add to that 54 days of credit for good behavior, plus another day of jail credit for time he was in custody after his arrest, and the committed portion of his sentence was completed.

Eremian will remain under the supervision of a federal probation officer for a year. He and a co-defendant, Todd Lyons, were also ordered to forfeit property prosecutors said was obtained with the proceeds of the illegal off-shore betting operation.

Among the forfeited items: a 1980 Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm helicopter Daniel Eremian purchased and registered in Florida. That forfeiture came after a lengthy back-and-forth between prosecutors and an attorney for a business entity called Candor Aviation, created by Robert Eremian, who claimed ownership of the chopper.

The feds recently sold the aircraft for $100,000.

Robert Eremian remains a fugitive in Antigua.

Tierney’s wife, Patrice, admitted to aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns by her other brother, Robert Eremian, and spent 30 days in jail. She later testified during her brother Daniel’s trial in 2011, but when questions were put to her about what her husband might have seen during visits to Robert Eremian’s home in Antigua, she invoked her spousal privilege and would not answer.

Tierney has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Last September, a House Ethics Committee investigation into whether Tierney should have disclosed funds that his wife was receiving from Robert Eremian was closed after investigators concluded that the “evidence was inconclusive.”

Though he handily beat his 2010 opponent, Boxford lawyer Bill Hudak, just weeks after his wife was charged, he narrowly won re-election against Republican Richard Tisei in 2012. This year, Tierney is facing primary challenges from within his own party, from Seth Moulton of Salem, Middleton lawyer Marisa DeFranco and John Devine of Woburn.

An email seeking comment from Tierney’s spokesman, Daniel Rubin, did not receive a response before deadline last night.

An effort to reach Daniel Eremian was also unsuccessful yesterday.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.