A Brief Look at Crime 12/21 – 12/27

Gambino associates admit role in mob murder

Two associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family, Letterio Decarlo and Thomas Dono, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to participating in a conspiracy that resulted in the murder Frank Hydell on April 28, 1998. The defendants also admitted to their participation in a conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business in the late 1990s.

One of the goals of the Gambino Organized Crime Family was to protect its members and associates from detection and prosecution by law enforcement, by intimidating and seeking reprisal against individuals who provided testimony or other information to law enforcement. As associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family, DeCarlo and Dono committed various crimes, including murder, assault, robbery, burglary, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.

Gambler sets herself ablaze

MADAM Wee Chiok was a familiar face on casino cruises and enjoyed playing mahjong with her friends for cash stakes.  When the 67-year-old retiree’s finances could not keep up with her gambling habit, she turned to loan sharks.  Pressed to make good on her debts, she killed herself on Feb 6 by setting herself alight. Investigations revealed that the extent of her debt was $4,500.

Theft results in 2-year term

A former property manager was sentenced Friday in Allen Superior Court to two years in prison for her theft of more than $500,000 from a local mobile home park. Poulson apologized for taking the money, but her attorney argued that she did so because of a gambling addiction and the stress of a medical diagnosis. Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull sentenced Poulson to two years in prison and two years on probation and ordered her to pay $524,123 in restitution.

Cockfighting Ring Busted; Several Arrested

A weekend raid on a LaSalle County cockfighting event led to the arrests of 10 people allegedly taking part in the illegal competition, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced Monday. A team of 50 officers from multiple jurisdictions raided a barn in Earlville, about 90 minutes outside Cook County, on Saturday. Dart’s office said the cockfighting operation had been based at the farm property for at least five years, generating illegal revenue that may have been used to finance drug and gun purchases. In cockfighting, specially trained roosters, or “gamecocks,” fight to the death. The roosters are bred for aggressiveness and often pumped with steroids and armed with razor-sharp steel picks on their legs.

Mafia Ties Suspected With Online Gambling Site

Paradise Bet, a gambling firm based out of the United Kingdom, has recently seen its license suspended. This comes after an asset freezing, as authorities have been investigating the possibility of the site’s involvement with the Mafia. Though the license to operate these gambling sites has been revoked, the implications of the best run even deeper. Amongst the arrests were seventy four people, including the leader of the Parisi Clan, Savino Parisi. According to reports, politicians and businessmen had also been implicated in the investigation. Amongst the crimes were loan-sharking, drug trafficking, attempted murder, and money laundering.

Liverpool fan’s cause of suicide was gambling

He was such a die-hard fan of Liverpool Football Club that he wore the familiar bright red team jersey even in death. The body of Teo Kok Hun, 33, was found hanging from a bathroom window by his wife on Oct 26, a day after the club had beat archrivals Manchester United.  Mr Teo, a driver, was clad in the football jersey with a pair of bermuda shorts. A suicide note was found on the living room table. In the suicide note to his wife, father and close friends, Mr Teo Kok Hun, 33, confessed his addiction to football gambling.

Former Redding teacher in trouble again, charged with thefts and drug counts

A one-time second-grade teacher who in 2004 was sentenced to 10 years in prison for second-degree burglary and other charges may not have learned her lesson, police allege. Diane Denise Fisher of Redding has been charged with 14 new felony counts, including receiving stolen property, grand theft, drug possession and identity theft.

Fisher, who was arraigned Monday in Shasta County Superior Court, is accused, among other things, of stealing her mother’s name and Social Security number to fraudulently open credit card accounts, according to a Redding Police Department investigative report.

She allegedly used those credit cards to obtain goods and services totaling more that $13,000 and to take out cash advances at a Corning casino, the report said.  Although she initially denied it, Fisher later admitted to investigators that she used her mother’s name and other information to obtain credit cards and finance her gambling habit, the police report said.

Multiple Casino Robberies Take Place In December

Though the holidays are meant to be a time of sharing and joy, some who have fallen upon hard times have turned to criminal mischief in order to claim some ill gotten gains. While the recession has hurt many, the crime of robbery has begun to hurt even more. Several casino robberies have taken place, with some rather large heists currently being investigated.

The Black Diamond Casino in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was one of the most recent robberies to take place. A Wednesday afternoon in late December saw a rather festive burglar enter a casino shortly after 3:00. In broad daylight, this robber entered the casino in a Santa suit, toting a firearm.

Man gets 6-year sentence for embezzling money

A 69-year-old Santa Rosa man was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million dollars in restitution for embezzling money from a Petaluma company. Dave Crockett, the company’s CEO, told the Press Democrat that Merman spent the money on gambling and “high living.” “This is a very sad situation, where the defendant took advantage of an elderly business owner’s health condition. This prison sentence will ensure that he will not have an opportunity to commit elder financial abuse any time in the near future,” Passalacqua said.

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


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