BOXFORD — For the past couple of years, former congressional candidate Bill Hudak has derided Congressman John Tierney's claims that he didn't know about his brother-in-law's allegedly illegal offshore gambling operation.
But Hudak, who spent last week touting an "amazing" nutrition supplement that promises a "veritable fountain of youth," turns out to have had no idea that the man he's teamed with to pitch the product has a bit of baggage, as well.
Albert Muir, identified in advertising as heading the "North Shore-Boston-based Qivana Team" with Hudak, is a professional poker player and is currently under a suspended five-year jail sentence for promoting prostitution, according to Connecticut court records.
Muir and his now-ex-wife co-owned a health spa called Marlow's in Branford, Conn., which was raided by police in 2009. A Branford police detective who investigated the case said the business was well-known for years as a pit stop just off Interstate 95 for illicit massages.
Muir on Thursday said he pleaded guilty to the charge, a Class C felony, "because I was afraid she'd turn state's evidence against me" during the couple's divorce. His then-wife was also charged with promoting prostitution at the spa, which she ran.
Until he got a call from a reporter Thursday afternoon, Hudak said he'd had no idea about Muir's past.
"I don't know anything about that," Hudak said.
But he doesn't think it's a big deal — and not ironic in light of his criticism of Tierney's claimed ignorance.
"I think you're really stretching," Hudak said. "There are 25,000 people involved with Qivana." He went on to mention former Olympic athletes and a former judge.
Muir, who has been training Hudak and co-hosting Web seminars and a presentation with him, will get a cut of each sale Hudak makes, and a cut of whatever anyone who is recruited by Hudak makes, Muir acknowledged Thursday.