A brief look at crime 1/25 – 1/31

Mother of toddler who was thrown onto freeway says she was out gambling, doing drugs

The mother of an Oahu toddler, who was thrown off a freeway overpass two years ago, says she was out gambling and doing drugs the day her son died. But it wasn’t made clear how her neighbor, murder defendant Matthew Higa, ended up with the child. When 23-month-old Cyrus Belt was killed, just about everyone in his life was an ice user, including his mother.

“You were using crystal methamphetamine at this time. Is that correct?” Peter Carlisle, Honolulu prosecutor, asked. “Yes,” Nancy Chanco, dead boy’s mother, testified. “Regularly?” Carlisle asked. “Yes,” Chanco replied. On January 17, 2008, her toddler was run over by a delivery truck after Matthew Higa threw him onto the H-1 Freeway from a pedestrian overpass.

Former Herkimer investigator sentenced, admits addiction

As his relatives wiped tears from their eyes Thursday morning, Robert Risi was led from a fifth-floor Herkimer County courtroom. About two hours later, the 18-year veteran of the Herkimer Police Department left the county court and jail complex in the back of a county sheriff’s deputy’s car.  He was on the way to begin his one- to three-year state prison sentence for stealing thousands of dollars from his police department’s evidence room to support his gambling habit. He has paid restitution of about $15,800.

Hinton, Okla., woman admits to embezzling $425K

A 34-year-old woman who formerly worked for the Hinton Economic Development Authority has pleaded guilty to two counts of felony embezzlement in an agreement that requires her to pay back $425,000. District Attorney Bret Burns said the agreement was made official Friday when Robin Dawn Ramming entered her guilty plea in Caddo County District Court. Burns said Ramming is to serve 10 years in prison. Authorities said the stolen money was used to pay for lavish family vacations and to support a gambling habit.

Tondo trader shot dead

A 31-year-old “sari-sari” store owner was shot dead by three unidentified gunmen who posed as customers in Tondo, Manila last Sunday night. Police identified the victim as Alberto Bancalem, married, of Building 14, Temporary Housing Unit, Tondo, Manila. The victim succumbed to bullet-shot wounds in his face and nape. Santos said they are investigating if the killing was related to the victim’s gambling habit as he was known frequenting the cockpit arena in their area.

Man poisons self, family in Bankura

A farmer poisoned to death his wife and children by serving them with poison-laced food before eating the same and committing suicide in Taldangra, Bankura, on Sunday night.  It was debt and poverty which led Debdulal Ghosh, a habitual gambler, to take the extreme step, said police. The other deceased have been identified as Bandana Ghosh (38), Seema (16) and Subhankar (8).

Nurse’s nightmare as husband was found hanged after gambling £20k

A NURSE’S husband was found hanged after he ran up tens of thousands of pounds of debts in her name. The newly-weds had been due to start a new life in Australia, where Angela already had a job lined up as an intensive care nurse. But Ms Roberts found her husband was not what he seemed.

She told the Mail: “In June last year I checked my bank statement, which should have been £6,500, but instead I was overdrawn to the tune of £1,500. I called him and he started crying, saying he was in a dark place. “The next day I went to the Halifax and an account containing £7,500 had been completely wiped out.” When confronted, Mr Barker, 33, denied his actions. But when she accessed his e-mail account, she discovered her husband had signed up to “every gambling website going”. She said: “One day I was happily married to my best friend and about to start a new life in Australia, and the next I had lost everything. My world was turned upside down in the space of a day.

Confessed gambler must pay back Honey Brook man

A Downingtown woman was ordered to repay her former employer, a Honey Brook businessman and commercial developer, more than $200,000 that she stole from him over a period of years to feed her gambling addiction. Dora Dianne DiLoreto was sentenced to serve three to six years in state prison after she admitted stealing tens of thousands of dollars from Lewis R. Frame Jr.

Bank Supervisor Jailed for Gambling Away Money

A former supervisor at the US bank BB&T has been jailed for 18 months, after it was revealed she had gambled away over $200,000 (£124,000) to feed her gambling addiction. Quiana Dantelle Ruffin admitted to stealing the cash in order to gamble online, purchase lottery tickets and make trips to the nearby Atlantic City. Ruffin pleaded guilty to embezzlement, which was found out in mid-2008, when a routine audit turned up cash anomalies.

Botched robbery leads to murder trial

In the capital murder trial of a Killeen man Tuesday, a Killeen woman testified admitting participation in the April 2008 robbery of an illegal gambling room that resulted in the death of 41-year-old Kimberly Tran. Dominique Neal, 23, told the court that on April 2, 2008, she helped plan and tried to halt the attack on the game room. She said that she and Bonnie Johnson had gone into the business to play the machines and were supposed to alert Oliver Julius Sowell, 23, when he should rob the establishment. She said she was about to call off the plan when Sowell allegedly arrived wielding a shotgun and got into a scuffle with the business owners. Shots were fired, and both Tran and her son, Vu Minh Le, 22, of Austin, were wounded. Tran’s son was left blind in his right eye and with a shattered left arm. Tran succumbed to a gunshot wound to the chest hours later.

Managing Director Gambles Away Millions

Paul Sadler, the former head of the Birmingham Institute of Research and Development Ltd, a subsidiary of the University of Birmingham, has been jailed for six years after admitting to embezzling £5 million. Working alongside fellow employee, Christine Eggleton, the pair managed to steal millions from the company, causing the development centre to come close to the brink of collapsing. Sadler, who suggested in court that he suffers from a severe gambling addiction gambled away £2 million in a Birmingham casino and began fabricating false invoices, which he’d use to fund his habit, as early as 1994.

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

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