Tierney in-law’s sentence delayed

March 9, 2012

A federal court judge delayed the sentencing Thursday of Daniel Eremian, brother in-law of U.S. Rep. John Tierney, D-Salem, and his co-defendant in a racketeering conspiracy until a dispute between the prosecution and the defense attorneys over a proposed $30 million forfeiture can be worked out.

“There are not many people who could pay $30 million in a lifetime, so it might be practically worth it to come up with a solution,” Judge Patti Saris told the attorneys.

She encouraged them to talk about “resolving the forfeiture issue,” out of court, but noted she would not participate in any talks.

Eremian, 61, and Todd Lyons, 37, of Beverly, were convicted on Dec. 5 of racketeering (RICO), racketeering conspiracy, operating an illegal gambling business and wire act offenses following a five-week trial. Lyons was also convicted of money laundering, filing false tax returns and interstate travel in aid of racketeering. Both were found not guilty on several other charges related to their gambling business.

The men face up to 20 years in prison on the RICO charges; five years in prison on the illegal gambling charges; and two years in prison on the wire act charges.

“There’s likely to be some term of incarceration for both of you,” Saris told Eremian and Lyons during the hearing, but agreed to delay the sentencing until after Eremian’s son got out of school for the summer.

Saris noted that $30 million seemed high even compared to the amount of money that passed through the men’s hands as part of the gambling business. Prosecutors said the business laundered more than $10 million checks and wire transfers from 1997 to 2005.

Attorneys for both men urged the judge to make “proportionary decisions” that would take into account the fact that numerous men who were not prosecuted, as well as two fugitives from justice, also took part in the conspiracy, and to think of the men’s livelihoods following their sentences. Lyons’ attorney said he would like to see the amount be reduced to $19 million or less.

Eremian’s attorney Marc S. Nurik alluded to “Eighth Amendment issues” he wanted to discuss at the forfeiture hearing, set to begin March 26 in Boston. The Eighth Amendment protects citizens from excessive bail, fines or cruel and unusual punishment.

Eremian’s brother Robert Eremian is accused of leading the multimillion-dollar gambling business called Sports Offshore in Antigua, where he still resides. Prosecutors said the business employed about 50 gambling agents in the United States who had hundreds of customers.

Saris set what she called an “aspirational date” of June 21 for the sentencing.
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