A brief look at crime 10/12/09 – 10/18/09

Trio of Murder Indictments in Tallahassee

Leon County grand jury issues three murder indictments in a swift morning session.  Terrell Robinson was indicted for first degree murder in the strangulation of his girlfriend, FSU art student Elisabeth Killam. Killam was killed in her Chartre Oaks apartment three weeks ago.  The grand jury also indicted Victor Hamilton on two counts of first degree murder. Hamilton is the accused triggerman in a double homicide at a Tennessee Street hotel last month.  Lemon Lane was also indicted for first degree murder in the shooting death of Anthony Nathan back in August. Deputies say the shooting on Cathedral Drive was the result of a gambling dispute.

Insurance agent sentenced to 13 years in prison

A former Sacramento life insurance agent has been sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay $434,000 in restitution for stealing from her clients to fund her gambling habit. Between January 2005 and August 2007, Flora convinced at least a dozen retirees living in El Dorado, Sacramento, Yolo, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus and Butte counties to invest between $5,000 and $88,000 with her, a news release said. She sold annuities to retirees who sought financial security, but then also offered additional investment opportunities, promising annual returns ranging from 10 percent to 20 percent. She told them their funds would be used to make real estate loans to investors paying high interest rates. But she made only a few interest payments to investors. Instead, she used the money to play the slots almost daily at Thunder Valley Casino in Placer County.

Kids raiding houses to feed online habit

Young people are being driven to break into neighbours’ houses or stack up bills on their parents’ credit cards so they can gamble online, says the Problem Gambling Foundation. Research director Phil Townshend said a record number of people were seeking help from the foundation for online gambling addictions, and the problem was set to spread among young people.

Iowa man accused of trying to rob woman at casino

A 21-year-old southeast Iowa man is accused of breaking a 76-year-old woman’s arm as he tried to rob her at a casino.  Authorities say he tried to take the woman’s purse, and when she wouldn’t let go he knocked her to the ground.  She suffered a broken arm, dislocated shoulder and broken ribs.

Ex-bookkeeper sentenced for fraud

A gambling addict was on Friday jailed for six years for stealing more than R2-million from two legal firms while in their employ as a bookkeeper. Chabillal said some of the money stolen from the second firm had  been used to repay the first.  She stole from her employers, taking money from their respective  trust accounts.  He said he also agreed with defence attorney Deon Louw that Cronje was a pathological gambler…She was sentenced on 153 counts of fraud, and one of money laundering, all taken as one.

Supermarket manager stole £112k in fortnight to fund roulette addiction

A SUPERMARKET boss who stole £112,000 from Lidl in a fortnight to fund her gambling addiction was jailed yesterday.  The 38-year-old manager took the cash from Lidl’s Langstracht store in Aberdeen over a two-week period in September last year. [She] would squander up to £4000 a night at the roulette wheels in the city’s casinos.  She took cash from her store to gamble – then stole even more in the hope of winning the cash back.

Homeowner association president sentenced for embezzling $87,000

The former president of the Gander Road Homeowner’s Association, who admitted to embezzling $87,000 from the group, was sentenced Friday, Oct. 9, to five years probation. Griffin pleaded guilty June 17 to one count of honest services mail fraud. Griffin must repay the restitution at the rate of $1,000 per month and receive counseling for gambling addiction. Rice also ordered that a lien be placed on Griffin’s home.

Woman loses $25,000 in jewelry at Joliet casino

An Oak Lawn woman lost $25,000 worth of jewelry in restroom Sunday at Empress Casino.  The woman told police she hung her purse on a door hook of a casino restroom stall about 4:30 p.m.  The woman turned away from her purse, police said, and when she turned back, the purse was outside the stall and open, and a jewelry case containing $25,000 worth of jewelry was missing.

Connecticut: Former Manchester Cop Accused Of Theft Accepted Into Program

A former police sergeant accused of stealing more then $19,000 from Police Explorer and child safety seat funds has been accepted into a special program in lieu of going to prison. Police said she stole the money  because she had more than $240,000 in gambling debts.

Employee Stole Soju Worth $260,000

Ulsan Nambu Police Station apprehended an employee of an alcoholic beverage company for stealing soju worth nearly 300 million won ($260,000) from his workplace.  Police said the man, named only as Kim, entered the warehouse of the liquor company he worked at from March to July about 50 times after his colleagues had left and hid some 11,000 boxes of soju with a market value of 290 million won.  Kim sold the liquor to clients for a cheap price and spent the money at casinos abroad.

Trial of 22 opens in SW China on organized crime, gambling charges

Twenty-two people went on trial Wednesday in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality on charges related to running an organized crime ring and illegal gambling dens. The alleged ringleader, Xie Caiping, was charged with organizing and leading an organized crime gang, running illegal gambling dens, and harboring people taking illegal narcotics, illegal imprisonment and giving bribes to officials.

The municipal authorities arrested more than 2,000 government officials, police officers and suspected gangsters in a crackdown on organized crime this summer. Among those arrested was Wen Qiang, director of the municipal judicial administrative bureau and former executive deputy director of the municipal public security bureau.

Woman accused of embezzling from elderly parents

Authorities have charged a west Michigan woman with embezzling at least $100,000 from her parents’ life savings of $275,000.  Eloise Russo is accused of taking the money to pay for gambling losses, a $10,000 gift and a $16,000 new car for her sister. The 53-year-old woman is free on bond following her arraignment Wednesday — two days after her father, Thomas Sherwin of Hudsonville, died at age 90.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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