New Bedford Methadone Clinic Applicant Is a Federal Tax Cheat
As residents and elected officials learn more about a methadone clinic proposed for Downtown New Bedford, more is coming to light about one of the principals involved.
As WBSM first reported, the New Bedford Zoning Board of Appeals will consider a request for a "special permit" to locate a "medical clinic" at 268-270 Union Street at the corner of Seventh Street.
The Union Street location is currently not zoned for such a purpose, so the proposal would require approval of a permit to amend the zoning laws.
Tetrault Real Estate LLC, 161 Wilbur Avenue, Somerset, Massachusets, and Michael Brier, Recovery Connection Centers of America, 381 Wickenden Street, Providence, Rhode Island, have applied for a permit "to operate a medical clinic named Recovery Connection Centers of America" at the Union Street property.
According to a July 22, 2016 piece by GoLocalProv.com, Michael Brier has a federal criminal conviction.
GoLocalProv reported that Brier, a former tax preparer, "was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison" on May 10, 2013, after pleading guilty to underreporting over a million dollars in income and violating a federal court order that had permanently barred him from preparing tax returns for others."
According to a May 13, 2013 release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of Rhode Island, Brier was also "ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term and to pay back taxes to the IRS in the amount of $399,424."
The Department of Justice said Brier "pleaded guilty on February 11, 2013, to one count of criminal contempt and one count of tax evasion."
GoLocalProv.com reported that Brier opened the Recovery Connection Centers of America location on Wickenden Street in June 2013 "at the same location where his tax preparation services had been."
According to the report, a former partner in Brier's tax business, Jeffrey Sroufe – also barred from performing tax preparation – is "the incorporator in Recovery Connection and Brier is the director and registered agent."
A public hearing on Brier's request for a special permit for the Union Street location is scheduled for November 17, 2022, at 6 p.m. at the Downtown New Bedford Public Library.
The New Bedford City Council and Mayor Jon Mitchell are on record in opposition to the request for a special permit. The Zoning Board of Appeals will make the final determination.