News Briefs

YMCA in Lynn receives $25,000 Grant to Expand access to Telehealth Visits and Technology

The YMCA of Metro North is pleased to announce that its newly named Bruce and Patricia Herring Technology Center inside the soon-to-open Demakes Family YMCA in Lynn received a $25,000 grant from Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals to purchase computer equipment and install internet access. The funding, through the hospitals’ 2021 Community Benefits Grant Program, is aimed at increasing users ability to manage their health, reduce social isolation, and encourage the development of programs that support health equity in the region.

 “As a hospital that serves many patients from Lynn and the surrounding areas, our number one priority is providing vital health care services to the community,” said Phil Cormier, President of Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals. “The Demakes Family YMCA also plays an essential role in taking care of the community by providing quality social, recreational and educational experiences for its members.

We are fortunate to have such a terrific resource that invests in the city and provides things like access to technology through the Bruce and Patricia Herring Technology Center that will help improve the quality of the lives of its residents.”

 The YMCA will work with other partners to provide technical support and training to users in need of computer literacy skills. The Herring Technology Center will feature dedicated senior-only hours and provide bilingual equipment and materials to users.

Users can also reserve private rooms for telehealth sessions, therapeutic visits, or job interviews.

 This generous funding will help us stay responsive to emerging needs in our community, says Andrea Baez, Senior Branch Executive of the Demakes Family YMCA in Lynn. The lack of access to computers and technology is as a key challenge in our area driving more health inequities and creating barriers for people to access health, employment, benefits, and other services that have shifted online during the pandemic.

Data from Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals’ community needs assessment and other studies by groups like the Essex County Community Foundation identify technology access as a priority funding area. Reports indicate that one in five households in Essex County lacks basic computer equipment. The YMCA’s Herring Technology Center will target households in need of computers and other support through outreach efforts with local, community-based organizations and provide space and equipment for groups to conduct training and information sessions.

Sessions on topics like enrollment in health insurance, Medicare, WIC, SNAP programs, college application assistance, resume building, nutrition education, chronic disease management, financial education, and other classes will be part of the YMCAs initial planning.

 The Lynn YMCA also recently received a grant from Attorney General Maura Healey’s office to provide video-enabled devices that assist tenants in accessing virtual eviction hearings.

 When the new Demakes Family YMCA opens to the public on May 10, partners like Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals will help us continue to provide impactful services that create healthier and more equitable outcomes for the people in our region, says Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North.

The Demakes Family YMCA in Lynn will celebrate its Grand Opening on May 7 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will open fully to the public on Monday, May 10. Learn more about the Demakes Family YMCA opening.

Lynn man pleads guilty to Warhol Paintings theft

A Lynn man pleads guilty in connection with taking and attempting to sell two Warhol paintings on eBay.

 Brian R. Walshe, 46, pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Aug. 2, 2021. In May 2018, Walshe was arrested and charged.

In early November 2016, a buyer found two Andy Warhol paintings for sale on eBay. The paintings were two of Warhol’s “Shadows,” a series of untitled, abstract canvas paintings from 1978. The original listing price for the paintings was $100,000. In the advertisement, the eBay seller included a picture of an invoice for the two Warhol Shadow paintings with Warhol Foundation numbers and a purchase price of $240,000.

 The buyer believed the paintings were authentic and between Nov. 3 and 5, 2016, arranged with Walshe – the seller – to purchase the artwork outside of eBay for $80,000. Walshe and the buyer signed a contract which specified that the buyer had three days to terminate the contract and get a full refund if the buyer did not accept the artwork. On Nov. 7, 2016, the buyer’s assistant flew to Boston and met Walshe to retrieve the paintings, providing him with a cashier’s check for $80,000. According to bank records, the cashier’s check was deposited that day into an account that Walshe controlled, and $33,400 was subsequently withdrawn in the following 14 days. On Nov. 8, 2016, the buyer removed the paintings’ frames and found no Warhol Foundation authentication stamps and noticed that the canvasses and staples looked new. When he compared the paintings to the photographs from the eBay listing, they did not look identical. The buyer concluded that the paintings he purchased from Walshe were not authentic. The buyer then repeatedly attempted to contact Walshe, who initially did not respond, and then made excuses for the delay in refunding the buyer’s money.

Walshe initially gained access to the paintings through a friend (the victim). Walshe was present when the victim first purchased a Warhol painting. Sometime after this purchase, the victim purchased the two Shadow paintings. Thereafter, while visiting the victim in South Korea, Walshe told the victim that he could sell some of the art for a good price. The victim agreed and let Walshe take the two Shadow paintings and other fine art pieces.

 After Walshe took the items, the victim did not hear from Walshe and was unable to contact him. Eventually, the victim contacted a mutual friend, who met with Walshe and retrieved some of the art. On May 3, 2011, Walshe attempted to consign the Warhol paintings to a gallery in New York City, at which time he also had other art belonging to the victim. The gallery declined to accept the paintings because Walshe did not have a bill of sale.

The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of possession of converted goods provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of unlawful monetary transaction provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office made the announcement today. The Lynn Police Department provided assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy E. Moran and Kunal Pasricha of Mendell’s Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lazarus, Chief of Mendell’s Asset Recovery Unit, are prosecuting the case.

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