Criminal Justice News

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Westford Man Who Falsely Promised to Bribe Public Officials is Charged with Wire Fraud

BOSTON—Thomas H. Byrne, 63, of Westford, faces federal charges in connection with a scheme to defraud a businessperson by claiming that he and his co-conspirator, a former state senator, were using the funds to bribe public officials.

The information charges that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) had been leasing space in Lowell from the businessperson. From early 2009 through May 11, 2010, Byrne and former state senator Bernard Joseph Tully, falsely represented to the businessperson that they could maintain the Lowell RMV Office in the businessperson’s office building but needed money in order to make payments to certain elected officials in exchange for the official acts. The businessperson made payments to Byrne and Tully in the form of cash and checks. Byrne and Tully split the money and pocketed it for their own personal use. Byrne and Tully did not make payments to any public officials.

Byrne faces up to 20 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Last year, Tully, 84, of Dracut, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris Tully sentenced him to two years’ probation with four months of home confinement. Tully served as the Lowell city manager from 1979 to 1987. Prior to that he was a state senator representing Lowell and other areas.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Massachusetts Inspector General’s Office and the Lowell Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.

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