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Whitey Bulger: 10 years in prison sought for mobster's girlfriend

June 09, 2012|By Laura J. Nelson
  • Catherine Greig, the girlfriend of Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for harboring the longtime fugitive.
Catherine Greig, the girlfriend of Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger, is scheduled… (U.S. Marshals Service )

The longtime girlfriend of Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger should spend a decade in federal prison because she knowingly protected one of the Northeast’s most violent fugitives for more than 16 years, prosecutors said.

In a sentencing memo filed in U.S. District Court, prosecutors say Catherine Greig not only concealed Bulger’s identity, but made it possible for him to live in hiding — paying bills, picking up prescription medication, and targeting people whose identities she and Bulger could later steal. The pair were finally discovered last year in Santa Monica.

“This is no garden variety harboring case,” First Assistant U.S. Atty. Jack Pirozzolo wrote in the filing, submitted Friday in Boston. “It is the most extreme case of harboring this District has seen.”

Greig is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

Bulger, 82, pleaded not guilty to charges linked to 19 slayings from the 1970s and '80s during his time as the leader of the Winter Hill Gang, an Irish American crime ring in Boston, prosecutors say. He also worked as an FBI informant. Bulger is awaiting trial.

Greig, 61, pleaded guilty in March to charges of identify fraud, conspiracy to commit identify fraud and conspiracy to harbor a fugitive.

Although the charges Greig faces could result in a maximum of 15 years in prison, prosecutors have said she could get as little as 32 months. The prosecution recommended a longer prison term and asked that Greig pay a $150,000 fine.

“High-profile defendants such as Bulger require substantial assistance if they are to remain fugitives,” Pirozzolo wrote. “… Greig must know that there is a high price to be paid for choosing personal affection and loyalty over their legal obligations.”

After an FBI agent warned Bulger in late 1994 that he was about to be indicted, the mob boss fled Massachusetts with one girlfriend in tow, prosecutor say. He came back to Boston a few weeks later. He dropped off the first girlfriend and picked up Greig, who left her car and poodles with the first girlfriend, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say Bulger and Greig spent the first year on the run posing as a married couple, traveling to Chicago, New York and Louisiana. They settled in Santa Monica, where they lived in a rent-controlled apartment not far from the Pacific Ocean. Behind a secret wall in the two-bedroom apartment, Bulger stashed 30 weapons and more than $820,000 in cash, prosecutors say.

Bulger spent years on the FBI's "10 most wanted fugitives" list. He and Greig were arrested in June 2011 in Santa Monica after a tipster recognized them.

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laura.nelson@latimes.com

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