"Looter of family’s fortune gets prison" by Todd Wallack, Globe Staff | March 24, 2010
A Peabody man was sentenced yesterday to 17 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay a $1 million fine for looting the Ayer family fortune.
John F. Doorly, 60, pleaded guilty last November to charges of mail fraud and money laundering. Federal prosecutors said he stole $20 million from Tenens Corp., a North Shore company that managed hundreds of millions of dollars for descendants of Frederick Ayer Sr., an industrialist who owned factories in Lowell in the late 1800s.
Doorly was chief operating officer for the Beverly company, which does business as Essex Street Associates, and had worked for the firm for 30 years.
Prosecutors said he used the stolen money to fund an “extravagant lifestyle for his family and mistresses,’’ including buying three airplanes, homes and condos for family members, and golf club memberships.
Doorly’s lawyer, Marc R. Salinas, argued in court documents that Doorly had worked tirelessly for the Ayer family for more than 30 years and had no prior criminal record.
Salinas asked that Doorly be sentenced to no more than 10 years in prison.
“He has lost his career, his friends, and the full love of his family,’’ Salinas wrote. Doorly’s marriage ended in 2007, after the investigation highlighted his infidelity.
After the theft, Essex Street sued its accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC and Vitale Caturano & Co., for failing to detect the fraud. Essex Street could not be reached for comment late yesterday.
Court records indicate that case is pending in Suffolk Superior Court.