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Congressman Tierney's Wife Begins Jail Sentence Early

Patrice Tierney arrived at jail two weeks sooner than expected.

Patrice Tierney, wife of U.S. John Tierney, was expected to show up at jail on Feb. 28. But she is already there.

Patrice Tierney reportedly went to the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in Connecticut on Feb. 15 to start her 30-day sentence early.

"She has been determined to show the fact that she's fully accepting responsibility for her actions, and serving her sentence as soon as possible would demonstrate that," said Jennifer Flagg, spokesperson for Patrice Tierney.

Patrice Tierney her brother, Robert Eremian, by helping him funnel money from an illegal gambling operation into a Massachusetts bank account and then filing false tax returns on that money.

Eremian allegedly operated a lucrative illegal online gambling business for nearly 20 years. Police raided his home in Lynnfield in 1996, which cast bad publicity on his sister, who was about to marry then-candidate John Tierney.

Tierney, a Democrat from Salem, represents the sixth congressional district, which includes Hamilton and Wenham.

Prosecutors say Eremian later moved his business operations to Antigua but opened a bank account in Massachusetts with which to provide money to his children and mother. Patrice Tierney managed that account for several years, during which the account allegedly garnered more than $7 million from Eremian's illegal business, and prosecutors say she helped file false tax returns on that money.

In January, Federal Judge William Young sentenced Tierney to serve 30 days in jail followed by five months of house arrest and two years of probation. In the original plea agreement, a deal was reached in which Tierney would serve 90 days on house arrest and two years of probation. But Judge Young insisted on having her serve jail time as an example and deterrent to others.

The FCI Danbury is the same facility at which Martha Stewart served her prison sentence a few years ago. It's a minimum security prison camp in which inmates perform various jobs and attend classes.

Flagg said Tierney is keeping her spirits up while moving forward with her sentence.

"From what I've observed, she's a very strong woman and doing the best she can under the circumstances," Flagg said.

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