How An Angry Federal Prosecutor May Have Indicted These Women For Racketeering For Selling A Leaky Tee Shirt

A Crime Story:

Siobhán O’Malley set up a successful business in the Big Apple called the South Side Souvenir Stand. Wanting to expand, she chose Boston. Through a contact in the BRA, she was able to lease a piece of city land in the Waterfront District of South Boston. She called her business  the Southie Souvenir Stand (SSS).  She had to sign a pledge to the BRA to be an equal opportunity employer and to hire her help based on merit.

She hired Sinéad O’Neil as general manager and  Nora O’Shea as day time manager. Mae East was a sales person. They all came from Southie. The business thrived year round. In the summer it became particularly hectic requiring the hiring of many more persons. Many students from out-of-state colleges applied. But SSS always gave first priority to the recommendations received from the bigwigs at the BRA or City Hall.

One day a federal prosecutor, Joe Wayne who lived in Wellesley, bought a red and blue Tee shirt that had inscribed on it, “Southie Is My Home Town.” As a joke he wore it to work under his white shirt and new Brooks Bros.suit.  He forgot he had a harrowing hearing that day. During it, he sweated quite profusely. When he got back to his office he realized the joke was on him, the dye in the cheap Tee shirt had run ruining his white shirt and new suit.

He complained to Mae, then to Nora, and finally to Sinéad to no avail. He  contacted Siobhán O’Malley.  She offered to replace the Tee shirt, nothing more. He refused.

Wayne being irate caused an investigation of SSS. He found they advertised on telephone poles for help, asked for a résumé, required applicants to take a simple test, interviewed them and advised them by mail whether they had the job or not.  He also found that they mostly hired the people sponsored by City Hall. He took his evidence to the grand jury and indicted Siobhán O’Malley, Sinéad O’Neil, and Nora O’Shea for racketeering.  They face 20 years.

The indictment against them is in three counts.


THE ENTERPRISE:  Southie Souvenir Shack employs upwards of thirty people, has an New York Affiliate, South Side Souvenir Stands, and engages in activities which affect, interstate and foreign commerce by the use of goods and services in interstate commerce.

THE SSS HIRING SYSTEM:  SSS had a merit-based hiring system as agreed with the BRA. Their letter to the BRA said all applicants would meet minimum qualifications and each applicant would be interviewed and hired in a non-discriminatory manner.

THE DEFENDANTS:  Siobhán O’Malley, Sinéad O’Neil, and Nora O’Shea were all employed at SSS in executive positions.

THE RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY:  The named defendants being employed by SSS did unlawfully conspire to violate Title 18, USC, §1962(c) to conduct the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity which consisted of multiple acts of mail fraud indictable under Title 18, USC, § 1341.

OBJECTS OF THE CONSPIRACY AND SCHEME TO DEFRAUD: To maintain their positions, to increase the resources of SSS, to aggrandize power to themselves, the defendants sought to curry favor with members of City Hall and the BRA who were in a position to affect their lease by instituting a rigged hiring system that catered to requests from the BRA and City Hall by not hiring the most qualified  persons but those who were sponsored while maintaining the façade of a merit-based hiring system.

MANNER AND MEANS OF CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD:  The defendants kept lists of people City Hall recommended. They created a sham hiring system posting job openings, interviewing people, giving tests, and routinely mailing to unsuccessful candidates rejection letters. Defendant O’Malley certified to the BRA that she was hiring based on merits.


All that was stated in Count One is realleged and incorporated by reference.


The defendants devised and intended a scheme to defraud and to obtain money and property by means of false pretenses by awarding employment to individuals who were sponsored by member of the BRA and City Hall when these individuals were not the most qualified candidates but were sponsored.

The employment of Gindy Polska Canata: (1)  Gindy Polska Canata was recommended by an Irish friend who was a city councilor at City Hall for summer employment. She was not the most qualified candidate. Rejection letters were mailed to unsuccessful candidates.

The employment of Sheila Kristin O’Donovan: (2)  Sheila Kristin O’Donovan was recommended by the custodian at City Hall for summer employment. She was not the most qualified candidate.  Rejection letters were mailed to unsuccessful candidates.

The employment of Juliessica Leary Leo: (3)   Juliessica Leary Leo was recommended by the landscape designer at the BRA for summer employment. She was not the most qualified candidate.  Rejection letters were mailed to unsuccessful candidates.

The employment of  O’Shea O’Connelly Lydon: (4)  O’’Shea O’Connelly Lydon was recommended by the Mayor’s driver for summer employment.  She was not the most qualified candidate.  Rejection letters were mailed to unsuccessful candidates.

The employment of Suzannne Kathryn Juliana Anthony:  (5) Suzannne Kathryn Juliana Anthony was recommended by the Inspector at the BRA for summer employment.  She was not the most qualified candidate.  Rejection letters were mailed to unsuccessful candidates.

The employment of Thomasina O’Kerry Griffin: (6) Thomasina O’Kerry Griffin was recommended by a BRA auditor on behalf of a priest at St. Columbkille parish in Brighton.  She was not the most qualified candidate.  Rejection letters were mailed to unsuccessful candidates


The defendants  devised a scheme to defraud for purposes of keeping their business on city land and to make money by making materially false pretenses and did cause to be placed in post offices letters intended to execute said scheme to defraud in that they did not hire the most qualified candidates and used the mails to deliver rejection letters.


We incorporate everything above.  The defendants having devised the above scheme did place in mail boxes rejection letters which were used to executing their scheme to defraud.


It all sounds sort of silly, doesn’t it. But it is very serious. When people without criminal records are indicted for racketeering for using the mails because a prosecutor’s shirt was ruined or because the person is out of favor in the media it is the same thing.  You’ve read about the latter situation in the Quincy Patriot Ledger in the case against the Massachusetts probation chief from Quincy and his assistants. Their indictment is nothing more than you read above. Check it out. What is outrageous is there is no outrage to this.


  1. Atty. George’s case is a farce and there’s much more to it then any supposed criminal acts. The G men have an agenda and part of it is getting Atty. George.

    He is scheduled to be sentenced the end of this month

    • I wish I knew more about his case. Maybe as time goes on I can learn more. I’ll try to talk to Kevin Reddington who I know. Thanks for the information on the sentencing.

  2. ( continued) launder the governments money. Over a year later, when they approached the guy who laundered the money, you and I both know they expected him to cooperate and tell them all about his prior dealings with Bob. If this happened, fine…put a wire on him, come up with the evidence, and I’d say good job for disrupting a money laundering scheme and arresting the criminals…that, however, is not what happened. This guy, by coincidence, hired an attorney who just happened to have been a former AUSA who was friends with the vindictive prosecutor. What did he tell them? He told them that he and Bob had never done anything illegal before, and that Bob knew nothing about the money he laundered. How much did Bob make from this, they asked? Nothing , he replied. I’m sure they were shocked and disappointed. At this point, you move on right? Sometimes there is no case. Not this time.OVER A YEAR LATER they instructed this now cooperating witness to go pay Bob 20 grand for introducing them. These are the tapes you talked about that swayed the jury….out of context tapes showing Bob accepting the money…cash, by the way, after they about made the cooperator shove the money down his throat. Let me know what you think…there’s much much more, but I’m sick of typing…this ISA man who, left alone, would still be working, coaching his kids teams, paying for college and living his life, but for the US attorneys vendetta. Is this what they are there for…by the way he made some mistakes, but so have some prosecutors over the years..they get sent to training…they want to send him away for many many years..

    • I am unfamiliar with the prosecutor in George’s case. If you don’t want to name him, I can find out other ways, tell me why you think he was vindictive. Who was the former AUSA. What is happening to Bobby’s appeal? Was Bobby sentenced in September? I’m pressed for time with this blog – taking a lot more time than I ever expected but I’d like to know more about Bobby’s case.

  3. Hate to keep going back to the same case, but your premise here is eerily similar to the Bob George case. I fully believe that he is going go prison for the offense of insulting a prosecutor…a prosecutor who, by the way, was called “rude and unprofessional by a US senator. I urge you to take a closer look if you have time. Mr. George was NOT a criminal or money launderer…he was made to look like one by a manipulative, vindictive prosecution with a personal axe to grind. For starters, the case was based on the uncorroborated statements of a proven liar who told the
    Prosecutor that Bob walked up to him one day in The South Shore Plaza and asked him “do you have any money you need laundered.?” I can tell you that NOBODY in that courtroom..from the agents, to the prosecutors to Judge Gorton himself could possibly believe that happened. Besides being ridiculous on it’s face, it was proven to be complete unadulterated bullshit on cross examination. Bob introduced this convicted liar to a friend, who did in fact launde his mkney

    • You should read the comment section to see what Patty has written about other cases where the prosecutors had an ax to grind. I don’t mind you going back over the case. I know Bobby and always got along with him. He worked in my office but mostly did his work with Bob Banks, a great prosecutor and a highly respected judge, who thought the world of Bobby and would have been disheartened to see that the feds had charged him. Bob Banks died in October, 2010, before Bobby got convicted.
      I have to admit, if I haven’t already, that I knew very little about Bobby case. What I did know was some of the defense lawyers were saying that there was no way the government could convict him, Kevin Reddington who I’ve tried against was defending him, and the jury was out for four hours. (I believe I told you that was an indication of a strong government case but you indicated they were rushing home or something.)
      I will follow your suggestion and see if I can find out more about the case. I’ve found that when I look closely at the cases they appear differently than what I previously thought about them. Thanks for writing.

  4. I have no problem how people are hired or by whom as long as they do their jobs honestly. Most in the prosecutors offices are jokes.

    • I agree that the bottom line is the person do the job honestly and to the best of their ability. I disagree with your comment about prosecutors. Most are hardworking (at least during my time and I don’t see why that would not be the case today) and try to put in a good day’s work and bring about the right result. Unfortunately some are motivated by other things and forget that they are working for the people and seem to have their own personal agendas. Most of the work of a prosecutor goes on in a day-to-day fashion and we hear little about it. It is only in rares instances that we hear about them. In today’s Globe there was an article which unfairly indicated a Norfolk prosecutor did something wrong having contact with Annie Dookhan. The story was slanted against him inferring much but lacking any proof. I’m glad you have the attitude that prosecutors are jokes because it will keep you alert as to the happenings in our justice system which you should be. Just don’t let press reports convince you, look behind them and at the evidence. Thanks for writing.

  5. A Special Counsel is desperately needed to examine this farce. All involved in this frame up should be held accountable. What does this say about the Grand Jury that would return such an indictment? Did anyone in the grand jury ask the prosecutor how he got his job? Are all the employees in the Moakley courthouse the most qualified? Did the SJC commit a similar act when it hired Attorney Ware? They could have hired the more qualified Senator Mitchell or CharleS Murray? Where are the judges? Isn’t anyone on the level in that building? 2.Is the prosecutor in the Probation case the same one that moved for sentencing in Fla. on a charge where the Statue of limitations was found by the judge to have elapsed? There is no law in that place only politics.

    • Didn’t the court appoint a special counsel, Paul Ware, to look into this matter? Why would you want another one? It’s all a big pretend that everyone is hired on merit. Tell me how many judges were hired without having connections or being big political fund raisers? I remember the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court Wilkins railing about favoritism in hiring forgetting that he got his job because his father was the chief justice. Grand juries are supposed to protect the people but they’re just working stiffs trying not to do other than what the prosecutors demand they do. There is very much a law in place, the law is what the judges say it is. Always remember that.

  6. William M. Connolly

    As I recall the facts, only 40% of those recommended to be hired by legislators, politicians, etc. were in fact hired. Commissionaer O’Brien was in charge of hiring from 2001 to 2010. The Chief Administrative Justice of the Court had the power to reject any hire that did not meet qualifiations. He reviewed all hires and rejected none, to my knowledge. The Feds say 26 persons (less than 5%, less than one in twenty) hired were not “the most qualified.” If the Probation Department has about 2,000 employees, probably one-third, or about 600 were hired while O’Brien was in charge. The Feds, that is a few lawyers sitting at their desks in the Justice Department, know better than O’Brien who has spent 30 years working in probation and career probation officers, who is the “best hire.” I dare say that if you looked at the resumes of Wyshak and others in the DOJ who were hired and compared their resumes with the resumes of men and women rejected, you’d easily find many who were “more qualified” based on experience, education, quality of law school, etc. Let’s look at the DOJ lawyers letters of recommendation, and fire anyone who was recommended by a politician or federal employee. Even Ortiz, I’m told, was selected after three “more qualified” men were passed over. In every public hire—courts, administrative agencies, executive offices, governors and mayors’ offices— you’ll find that “more qualified” candidates, by someone’s standards, could have been hired. Was the Grand Inquisitor Paul Ware the most qualified? John Mitchell was available. I recall an old boss in government who got his daughter a job in the agency. Will the Feds now conduct witch hunts of all government employees’ relatives? Or only of a select few? Isn’t there a constitutional prohibition against “selective enforcement of the laws.”? Finally,there a myriad of factors that go into a hire, not least of which is the personal interview, the appearance of the candidate, his personality, how he interacts with the reviewing committee, etc. Now, we’ll have Feds who weren’t there crucifying those who assessed the candidate in person. What will the new federal standard be? Reject anyone who is related to anyone in government. Between one in four and one in five workers in America work in government. With at least half of the applicants to any job in government or in the private sector, you will find a family member working in government. The Feds would like to prevent state legislatures, politicians, and judges from writing letters of recommendation, but we’re supposed to have First Amendment expressive freedoms in America. The probation department “scandal” is another case of the Feds persecuting innocent people for non-crimes. And remember, even if these people are found “not quilty”, the federal process will bankrupt them. One day, I’d like to see the tables turned and the federal prosecutors be prosecuted for abuse of power and see how they like it when the process, fair or not, bankrupts them.

    • As I indicated, the feds unfairly indicted these people for RICO because they were unpopular in the media. The feds allege they used to mail to misrepresent that they had hired the best people. I am told by a Boston Globe reporter that four DAs offices in Massachusetts are letting collection agencies use their stationery to collect debts pretending the DA is writing to those persons. Why isn’t that a RICO violation by the DAs? They get a kick back from the collection agencies.
      Aside from trying to figure out how the feds are going to prove who is the most qualified person — are they going to have some “expert” come in and give his or her opinion — all of what is immaterial because it is a discretionary decision and just like happens in court every day, the judge’s decision on what evidence to admit is discretionary and not subject to review unless it is shown to be an abuse and there is no allegation that occurred hear — my big concern, and something I think strikes at the heart of our justice system, is charging a person with no prior criminal record with a RICO offense for using the mails. The allegations the person hoped to gain something from this are absurd. As far as I can see all the person gained was favorable treatment for his budget but he didn’t directly put any money in his pocket.
      I agree with the result of this. The defendants will end up broke. I don’t wish anything bad to befall the prosecutors although I wish there was a check and balance on them so that some adult supervision would be brought in to make sure that they go after real criminals rather than some public employees who may have fallen into disfavor with the media.
      There must be some real crime going on out there other than the mailing of letters to people who were not in the opinion of the feds the best candidates. By the way, if the feds want to find a crime in this case why not go after all the legislators or judges who put the arm on the probation department to hire people?