Boston - A Westford man was convicted today in connection with a scheme to defraud a private businessperson by falsely representing that he and his co-conspirator, former State Senator Bernard Joseph Tully, were using the funds to bribe public officials.
Thomas H. Byrne, 63, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Judge Joseph Tauro scheduled sentencing for Jan. 15, 2013. Byrne faces up to 20 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Byrne and Tully falsely represented to a private businessperson that they needed to make payments to three elected Massachusetts officials in exchange for official acts that benefitted the businessperson. Specifically, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) had leased space in Lowell from the private businessperson for several years. From early 2009 through May 11, 2010, Byrne and 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 official acts that would benefit the businessperson. The businessperson made payments to Byrne and Tully in the form of cash and checks, and Byrne and Tully split the money and pocketed it for their own personal use. Byrne and Tully never paid the money to any public officials. In September 2011, Tully pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with the scheme.
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.