A brief look at crime 1/18 – 1/24

Atlantic City man gets 20 years in theft from Taj Mahal

An Atlantic City man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after he held up a Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort employee at gunpoint and took a deposit bag with $73,834, First Assistant Prosecutor Murray Talasnik said. Tyrone Daniels, 39, was convicted of the crime last month and must serve 85 percent of his term before being eligible for parole, Talasnik said.  Co-conspirator Margaret Robertson, who worked in the general cashiering office of the Taj Mahal, testified at trial that she stole an access card, gave it to Daniels and told him when the bank-deposit bag would be ready, said Diane Ruberton, who prosecuted the case.

Couple dead in hotel: Suicide

HEAVILY in debt, a businessman and his woman friend decided to end their lives in a hotel room by burning charcoal.  Chia Eng Soon, 43, a bankrupt, had borrowed money from illegal moneylenders and owed them about $13,000. He had also borrowed from relatives and could not control his gambling habit, an inquiry heard.  Chia and Yap Mui Teng, 39, were found lying motionless on a bed at Fragrance Hotel in Upper Serangoon Road last Aug 15, a few days after he had celebrated the birthday of his wife, Madam Ling Siew Hong, 46.

Bank boss admits stealing to pay off gambling debts

A FORMER bank manager who transferred more than £130,000 of customers’ money into his own account to pay off gambling debts has been told he could face a spell in jail. Guildford Crown Court heard on Friday that he transferred sums of money ranging from £3,570 to £9,000 on 18 separate occasions.  Gifford pleaded guilty to 25 counts of fraud, which included charging £2,392 for tickets to the Isle of Wight which he did not possess.

Police: Casino crooks caught

Two men who followed people home from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and robbed them of their winnings at gunpoint have been caught, Tampa Police said. Edgardo Rivera and Christopher Neff are now facing robbery charges. According to Det. Jeff McGrath with Tampa Police, on three separate occasions in January, Rivera and Neff would follow big winners around the casino. When the people would leave the casino, Rivera and Neff would follow them home in their car, McGrath said. Once they got to the house, McGrath said Rivera and Neff would use a stun gun and a real gun to rob the people of their winnings.

Toms River woman admits stealing from Point Pleasant church charity

A 56-year-old Toms River woman Tuesday admitted stealing $18,000 from a church charity in a series of withdrawals with a pilfered ATM card. The defendant’s plea bargain calls for her to receive a four-year prison term when she is sentenced by Hodgson on March 5, said Senior Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Martin J. Anton. She also said she had a gambling problem that fueled the thefts.  “At that time, my mind was not good, but I knew what I did was wrong,” Iacopino said. “You were referring to a gambling problem,” Falcetano clarified, with which Iacopino agreed.

Woman to repay $166K for bank embezzlement

A former bank teller has been ordered to serve 33 months in prison and repay $166,834 for money stolen from American Bank and Trust in Miller. Susan Mareska pleaded guilty in November to a federal bank embezzlement charge as part of a plea agreement in which prosecutors dismissed other charges. According to court documents, Mareska developed a gambling habit and created false bank transactions to embezzle money over a seven year period.

Woman Arrested for Helping Kill More Than 2,000 Greyhounds Is Training Dogs in Florida Again

A woman arrested on felony charges for helping kill more than 2,000 greyhounds from all over the state has been training racing dogs again in Florida as recently as last week.  Ursula O’Donnell was charged with felony animal cruelty in November 2002 after allegedly hiring an Alabama man to shoot and bury greyhounds under her care. According to documents obtained by the Juice, O’Donnell allegedly sent dogs from as far away as Palm Beach and Orlando to Robert Rhodes, a security guard at the Pensacola dog track, who told police he shot the greyhounds for about $10 each. For more than 20 years, Rhodes crassly (and illegally) disposed of greyhounds that were no longer fast enough to compete on the track by shooting them with a .22-caliber pistol.

Postal worker embezzled funds to feed gambling addiction

A postal worker from northeastern Oregon admitted today that she stole cash and money orders from the U.S. Postal Service to feed a gambling addiction and help support her adult children.  June Marie Newburn, a 50-year-old resident of Joseph, was sentenced today in Eugene to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $156,462 in restitution to the  Postal Service, federal prosecutors reported.

27-HOUR ORDEAL: Kidnappers nab tourist from Strip

A 40-year-old tourist staying at Caesars Palace was abducted at gunpoint on the Strip last week and held for more than 24 hours while four suspects stole money and valuables from him, Las Vegas police said Wednesday. Lt. Clint Nichols said the tourist was kidnapped at “random” by two suspects about 5 a.m. Friday at a pedestrian overpass near Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. He was beaten at the apartment. During the course of 24 hours, the suspects got away with his casino winnings, money from ATM accounts and jewelry. They also ransacked his hotel room, Nichols said.

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