As Patrice Eremian was planning a wedding to the North Shore's new congressman in 1997, her younger bother, Robert Eremian, was busy defending himself against allegations of operating an illegal gambling business, money laundering and tax evasion.
It wasn't Eremeian's first brush with the law, nor would it be his last.
Ultimately, he would plead guilty in 2002 to just one count of tax evasion, spend two years on probation and pay nearly $60,000 in restitution and more than $458,000 in back taxes.
Shortly afterward, he got permission from the court to leave the country. While his sister and her husband, Congressman John Tierney, say now that they believed that what Eremian was doing was simply working as a consultant, prosecutors say that Eremian had already moved a "large-scale illegal gambling business" to St. John's, Antigua, in 1996.
In fact, in 1998 Eremian was interviewed by a New York Times reporter on the newly burgeoning business of Internet gambling.
"They're calling from all over the U.S. today," he told the reporter, standing in a room filled with 25 telephone operators just two hours before the Super Bowl.
Like other offshore gambling operators, Eremian insisted his business was totally legal — though in accepting bets placed in the United States, he violated the law, prosecutors say.
"The reason I'm here in this country is because I can't do what I want to do in the U.S.," Eremian told the Times in 1998. "It feels great. I don't have to worry about the police coming and breaking the door down," though he did complain about the long hours.
At the time, Eremian told the reporter that he had moved his wife and children to the island.
But his wife, Lauren, later returned to the couple's home in Lynnfield.
In 2008, while she was living in Florida, Eremian's daughter Aimee Beth, 21, died unexpectedly at her Boca Raton home.
And in August, Eremian was indicted again, charged with racketeering, along with his brother Daniel and two other associates, Todd Lyons of Beverly and Richard Sullivan of Marblehead.
They became the first people in Massachusetts and some of the first people anywhere in the country to be charged under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Prosecutors say Eremian employed dozens of "agents" in the United States to find customers and collect their gambling debts.
They say he disguised the source of the money through a series of schemes and shell corporations.
Robert Eremian is now a fugitive, and his whereabouts are unknown.