February 17, 2016
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Berlin Man Sentenced For Marijuana Trafficking, Money Laundering And Tax Evasion
WORCESTER, Mass. - A Berlin man was sentenced today in federal court for conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, money laundering and tax evasion. Eric W. Sliwa,age 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 78 months in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release. On October 7, 2015, Sliwa pleaded guilty to a 34-count indictment.
The defendant and others distributed large quantities of marijuana between 2001 and 2012. In June 2006, the defendant set up a company, EWS Gem Corp., for the purpose of concealing his drug proceeds and making it appear as though he had legitimate income. While the defendant filed personal tax returns for the tax years 2008 through 2010, he failed to report all of the proceeds from his drug trafficking business. During the time period of the conspiracy, the defendant lived a lavish lifestyle and purchased several assets including his home in Berlin, Mass., a condominium in Killington, Vt. and multiple luxury vehicles. At the time of his arrest, Sliwa possessed nearly $500,000 in cash as well as a coin and precious metal collection worth approximately $370,000 in a safe deposit box. As part of his plea agreement, Sliwa agreed to forfeit over $1,000,000 in cash, gold coins and luxury vehicles.
Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England; United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; and Manny J. Muriel, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement