In a series of articles over the last several months, the Globe has lambasted Congressman John Tierney for knowing or having reason to know of the illegal offshore internet gambling operation of his brothers-in-law. But, based on court records available to the public including the Globe, none of it holds any water.
Let’s start with the Globe’s assertion that the prior criminal history of the brothers-in-law should have put Tierney on notice that the Antigua operation was more of the same. Court records disclose that in 2002, Robert Eramian was convicted of federal crimes and sentenced to two years probation. At that time, Eramian convinced not only the Justice Department and Probation, but also the Chief Judge of the Federal District Court to permit Eramian to leave the country to accept employment as a software consultant with a legal gambling operation some 3,000 miles away in Antigua. Yet, the Globe made no mention of any of this in its articles until Tierney pointed to that court record and approval as a major reason he and his wife accepted Eramian’s explanations as to the nature of his job. Rather than accept that rational explanation, however, the Globe simply characterized Tierney’s response as a lame attempt to shift blame to the Federal Judge and Probation Department for not doing their jobs!
As for the repeated Globe reports that Tierney had to know of the illegal gaming activity because of the huge amounts of money Eramian deposited into his Massachusetts bank account, that doesn’t square with the court’s records in the recent trial of brother-in-law Daniel Eramian. In that case, the exhibits and testimony introduced by the Government established that the money deposited by Robert Eramian into that account after payment of income taxes and charitable contributions averaged but $300,000 annually over 7 years, and went to support Robert Eramian’s three teenage children living alone in Lynnfield without either parent, and for his widowed and ill mother living in Beverly, all of whom were being taken care of daily by Patrice Tierney and from which account she was gifted less than $600 per week. Yet the Globe continually misrepresented the numbers as eye-popping.
As for the “visit” to Antigua where Tierney supposedly observed this extensive gambling operation, the evidence and testimony offered by the Prosecutor at Dan Eramian’s trial also established just the opposite. Pictures the Prosecutor introduced of the business operations adjoining the dining area showed two normal sized residential sliding glass doors, beyond which appeared to be a rectangular table with telephones and computers on it; hardly visual evidence of the massive illegal gambling operation reported by the Globe.
Lastly, (despite recent efforts by the Globe to misconstrue) the Federal District Court Judge before whom Patrice Tierney was sentenced stated on the record that John Tierney was not in any way, shape or form involved. Rest assured, if there was even a scintilla of evidence against him, the zealous Federal Prosecutor who pursued John’s wife would have included a sitting Congressman in those indictments in a heartbeat.
Based on leaks to the press rather than on hard evidence, the Globe early on appeared to have concluded that John Tierney should not be re-elected and that they would endorse his opponent. Whether sloppy or driven by a desire to demonstrate political nonpartisanship, this has been a sorry, shameful performance by the Boston Globe.
Barry Y. Weiner
90 Apple Street
Essex, MA 01929