May 7, 2009

Banker Harrassed In Boston Because of U2

From the Boston Herald. Click here to read it on the Herald's page, or read on below:

‘SHELL-SHOCKED’: Joseph...
Photo by Stuart Cahill

‘SHELL-SHOCKED’: Joseph Carreiro, 49, is accused of threatening William Tauro, publisher of The Somerville News, for tickets to a U2 concert in March.

Harrassed in the name of love (for U2)

By Laurel J. Sweet

A banker’s bid to score his Bono-besotted bride a ticket to U2’s Somerville Theatre concert backfired badly, and now he’s facing a criminal complaint that he threatened a customer who couldn’t hook him up.

Joseph Carreiro, 49, a financial relationship specialist at a Sovereign Bank branch in Somerville, said alleged victim William “Billy” Tauro’s accusations are “unfounded.”

“The allegation is that he threatened to do Mr. Tauro bodily harm - an allegation we strongly contest,” attorney Will Korman told the Herald yesterday.

(Carreiro), he said, “is a gentleman who has had no involvement with the criminal justice system whatsoever. He is absolutely embarrassed, mortified and shell-shocked that this is happening to him.”

Korman said Carreiro is especially sorry Sovereign’s name “is being dragged into the middle of a dispute that’s been blown way out of proportion.”

Tauro, 48, is a Somerville businessman whose pursuits include being one of the publishers of The Somerville News.

Last week, a district court assistant clerk-magistrate found probable cause to issue a criminal complaint against Carreiro after a hearing. He has not been arrested. Of his status with Sovereign, bank spokesman Andrew P. Gully said, “I’m not going to discuss that because it’s a matter before the court.”

Tauro’s attorney, Anne Vigorito, confirmed Tauro is a Sovereign customer, but stressed he “really didn’t know” Carreiro and there was “no banking relationship” between the two men because Tauro conducts his transactions at a different branch.

“From what I understand, (Carreiro’s) wife is a huge (U2) fan. That was the basis of this. But it went to extremes,” she said. “(Tauro) definitely was nervous.”

Tauro claims in an affidavit Carreiro “stocked (sic)” him for three days, called him repeatedly, impersonated a detective “to intimidate me” and threatened to expose his personal banking information.

Korman said Carreiro denies the “outlandish” accusations and said he was actually grateful Tauro, who he knew from childhood, even heard him out regarding his U2 dream.

Vigorito said Tauro was inundated with requests for the invitation-only tickets to the intimate March 11 performance by one of the world’s biggest rock bands when Internet rumors falsely spread he was one of the show’s organizers.

“You would have thought it was the Second Coming,” Vigorito said. “He had no access to tickets, but people believe what they want. Would they do this for the Jonas Brothers?”

Tauro, a married father of teens, attended the concert with a press pass, but as for his own fan fervor, Vigorito said, “Billy’s more of a Frank Sinatra guy.”

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