From the Courtroom: Catherine Greig

By WGBH News & Wires

Mar. 14, 2012

BOSTON —  Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud. The plea agreement does not require Greig to testify against Bulger. Greater Boston has the word from the courtroom.

Looking haggard and speaking softly, Catherine Greig pleaded guilty on Mar. 14 to three charges stemming from her 16 years on the run with reputed mobster James “Whitey” Bulger. Afterward, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz cast the outcome as a victory.

"I hope that you saw that from the government’s standpoint, Catherine Greig is no victim. And she stands right now a convicted felon for her role in harboring James Bulger," she said.

Despite recent reports, Ortiz added that Greig didn’t get a sweetheart deal and could be called to testify against Bulger when his trial begins later this year.

"We did not compromise our ability to call her in the future as a witness in any proceeding," Ortiz said. "The chapter has not closed on this matter."

But outside the courthouse, Patricia Donahue, whose husband Michael was one of 19 people allegedly killed by Bulger, said the prospect of Greig serving a reduced sentence is hard to stomach. 

"I’d like to see somebody actually be punished for their crimes," Donahue said. "I would like to see the 15 years."

In theory, Greig could serve 15 years for her crimes — but by pleading guilty, she may go free in far less. Greig returns to court for sentencing on Jul. 12.

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