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Rep. Tierney’s Wife Takes Stand In Brother’s Trial

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Patrice Tierney and her husband Rep. John Tierney.

Patrice Tierney and her husband Rep. John Tierney.

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – U.S. Rep. John Tierney’s wife insisted Monday at her brother’s trial that she and her husband didn’t know another brother was running an illegal online gambling operation in Antigua.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Bernice Corpuz reports

Patrice Tierney’s testimony came during the trial of Daniel Eremian, who is charged with racketeering and money laundering.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

Tierney spent most of her three hours on the witness stand answering questions about another brother, Robert Eremian, a fugitive who is accused of leading the multimillion-dollar gambling business.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak Jr. aggressively questioned Tierney about two trips she and her husband made to the headquarters of Sports Off Shore in Antigua — in 1999 and 2009 — and asked if she and her husband saw that a gambling business was being operated there. Patrice Tierney said she saw four to six people working at computers in a room with television monitors, but said she did not ask her brother for any details about what kind of work was being done.

When asked if John Tierney saw any of the operations of the gambling business, Patrice Tierney replied, “He dined there.”

“He sat down and we had dinner,” she said, testifying under a grant of immunity from prosecution.

Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty last year to aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns for Robert Eremian. She served 30 days in prison and five months of house arrest.

Her husband, a Democrat from Salem, has not been implicated, and he was not in the courtroom Monday for his wife’s testimony.

On the witness stand, Patrice Tierney was pressed repeatedly by Wyshak on how she could not have known that her brother Robert was running an illegal gambling business when she managed a Massachusetts bank account for him that took in about $5 million between 2004 and 2010. Patrice Tierney said she believe her brother when he said he was a computer consultant to Sports Off Shore.

“You didn’t question that his income was from gambling?” Wyshak asked.

“Correct,” Patrice Tierney responded.

She said she began managing the bank account for Robert Eremian in 2003. She said Eremian’s wife was in rehab for a substance-abuse problem, and she was asked by her brother to take care of his children and pay their expenses and other household expenses through the account. At about the same time, her mother was ill with cancer and she was taking care of her, Patrice Tierney said.

She acknowledged that she knew that Robert Eremian had run an illegal gambling business in Massachusetts before he left for Antigua. But she said she felt assured that his work was legitimate because a federal judge had approved his request to travel back and forth to Antigua to work for Sports Off Shore as a software consultant even though he was on probation.

“My brother told me it was licensed and legal,” she said.

She also acknowledged writing checks to herself on the account totaling $173,000 between 2004 and 2010.

She said the checks were from her brother to compensate her for everything she was doing for the family.

“I received gifts from my brother for helping him,” she said.

John Tierney hasn’t been implicated in the case. He was not in the courtroom on Monday.

For her testimony in her brother’s trial, Patrice Tierney has received full immunity from any additional charges.

Bill Hudak, who ran unsuccessfully for John Tierney’s Congressional seat in 2010, was in attendance at the trial. Hudak will run for the seat again in 2012.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson live-Tweeted Patrice Tierney’s testimony. Follow her @karenreports.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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