Daily Archives: February 19, 2010

A brief look at crime 2/8 – 2/14

Author ‘killed man over owed money’

A MELBOURNE author killed a man he owed money to by repeatedly bashing him on the head with a hammer, a court has heard. Prosecutors allege Douglas Fredrick Robinson, 63, murdered Michael Grech at Melton, northwest of Melbourne, in November 2007. Police found Mr Grech’s body wrapped in plastic nearly six months later in a shallow grave at nearby Toolern Vale.  Prosecutor Peter Rose, SC, said Mr Robinson, who had a gambling problem, had borrowed $15,000 from Mr Grech.

New Forest bank cashier who stole £40,000 of dementia victim’s cash jailed

A BANK cashier who stole cash from the account of an elderly dementia sufferer has been jailed for two years.  Gambling addict Daniel Moss, 21, took more than £40,000 over seven months from Leonard Poole, 90.  Mr Poole’s son Richard called for an investigation after his dad could not remember withdrawing large amounts of cash from the HSBC at Milford-on-Sea. It transpired the thefts had been made from Moss’s terminal, except one from a terminal left on by a colleague, prosecutor Rachel Robertson told Southampton Crown Court. “It was clear he had made the transactions and counter withdrawal slips had been forged,” she said.

RISKY BETS: VicRoads staffer steals $315,000 to feed pokies

A HAMILTON VicRoads chief who stole $315,000 to feed a poker machine habit has pleaded guilty and is expected to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Jennifer Maree Clarke, admitted to three charges of theft in the Warrnambool County Court relating to $315,185.45 stolen between August 11, 2005, and September 7, 2007. Clarke kept envelopes of each day’s takings, took cash and then tried to pay back the money with the takings from following days. She got further and further behind and her total personal gain from the 167 individual thefts over more than two years was $82,928.25. In the two years and four months since the offending was detected she has paid back $600.

Bartlett attorney with gambling problem stole from children’s trust fund, authorities say

James M. Hoots has been charged with stealing some $76,000 from a children’s trust fund and blowing it at the Tunica casinos. Hoots, whose practice includes probate work, has been licensed in Tennessee since 1990. The 56-year-old attorney was booked into the Shelby County Jail on Friday and is scheduled to be in General Sessions Criminal Court on Monday. He was to be released on his own recognizance. Authorities received a complaint several months ago that Hoots had taken money from the children’s trust fund without permission.

Woman invented child for benefits

A Canberra woman has admitted inventing a fictitious child, using the false claim to collect thousands of dollars in family tax benefits and blowing the money playing poker machines. The ACT Supreme Court heard prosecutors allege yesterday that former Centrelink worker Heather Lancelene Brown accessed her own files in the agency’s database to ensure that the money continued to flow. The 54-year-old, who has pleaded guilty to one count of financial advantage by deception, collected more than $7000 between 2002 and 2004 before her scheme unraveled.

Man Sentenced For Slaying Over Gambling Money

A man was sentenced to 39 years to life in prison Tuesday, for the slaying of a man after he won money gambling.  A judge sentenced Rodney Conley for the August 2008 slaying of Jess Lanier, 10TV News reported. Police said Conley shot Lanier after he won $7,000 at an Indiana casino, but Conley contended the gun went off as the two men were fighting over it. Conley was convicted of aggravated murder, 10TV News reported.

Federal probe of illegal online gambling nets first charge

A long-running federal probe of illegal online gambling netted its first charge Wednesday when a Kansas City man pleaded guilty to running a sports bookmaking business. Michael V. Badalucco, 26, admitted that he and others provided bettors with a toll-free telephone number or access to a Web site— both of which routed from Missouri through Arizona to a company in Costa Rica. In pleading guilty, Badalucco waived his right to have a grand jury review the government’s evidence and agreed to plead guilty immediately.

Wisconsin man indicted over $3.75 million Las Vegas gambling debt

A Wisconsin man has been indicted by a grand jury in connection with gambling markers totaling $3.75 million at two Las Vegas casinos. Christian Peterson is charged with drawing and passing a check without sufficient funds with intent to defraud, presumptions to defraud and theft, according to an indictment unsealed last week in Clark County District Court. During an eight-day period in April 2008, Peterson signed three markers totaling $300,000 at the Hard Rock Hotel and a marker for $3.45 million at Caesars Palace, the indictment states.

Despicable’ loan shark threatened to kill victims

A “despicable” loan shark who pocketed almost £30,000 from two vulnerable victims and threatened to kill those unable to pay him has been jailed for two-and-a-half years. Anthony “AJ” Johnson  charged up to 1,200% interest on some loans, according to officers who investigated his four-year reign of terror. One victim, a father of two, was forced to sell his flat and had to pay for Johnson’s family to fly to Spain for a holiday. A second had to flee his home after agreeing to testify.

Man accused of getting gun for casino killer

A man has been charged with illegally buying the gun that a former Indian casino worker used to kill his ex-boss and commit suicide last year in San Diego County. Prosecutors contend that Holley bought a 20-gauge shotgun under his own name from an El Cajon dealer on Dec. 24 and gave it to Donnell Roberts, who supplied the cash.  Five days later, Roberts used the gun to kill the head of the Barona Gaming Commission, Raymundo Casillas Jr., in his office outside the Barona Casino and Resort. Roberts then shot himself.

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