A Brief Look at Crime 4/12-4/18

Online Gambling Portal Owner Bizarre Death 2nd in 12 Months

The death of Kenneth Weitzner marks the second time in less than 12 months that an online gambling portal owner has died under mysterious circumstances.  Weitzner was confirmed dead shortly after 10 am EST Saturday morning along with his wife Jackie in their Chesapeake, Virginia home.  Police have confirmed they arrived at the residence that morning and noted the death as a double suicide.   “Other” was also noted, suggesting that, while a suicide had been reported, police were yet to conclude the exact cause of death.

Rumors were swirling all weekend that Weitzner owed significant amounts of money to various individuals though a motive for the deaths is yet to be confirmed.  Many in the online gambling community were especially stunned as to why his wife, a grandmother of three, would take her own life. The Weitzner suicide case marks the second time in less than six months that an online gambling portal owner has died under tragic circumstances.

Suspect in murder of family of 6 changes plea to not guilty

Damian Karlik, who has been charged with the murder of six members of the Osherenko family in Rishon Letzion, pleaded not guilty on Sunday, just three months after confessing to the crime.  Karlik’s attorney Uri Keinan appealed to the Petah Tikva Court to make the circumstances of Karlik’s arrest admissible in court, in order to prove that he was arrested illegally.

Damian Karlik, 38, was arrested with his wife, parents and two other female relatives in October, shortly after the murder was uncovered, and confessed to the murder of the six members of the Osherenko family, including two children, the father Dmitry, his wife Tatiana, and the two grandparents Ludmilla and Edward.

Natalia Karlik, Damian’s wife, was also arrested and charged with manslaughter for assisting her husband in planning the murder and obstruction of evidence. Karlik, whom the police say is a compulsive gambler who spent huge amounts of money at gambling venues, allegedly began to plan his revenge on Oshrenko two months ago with his wife Natalya.

Manager leaves farmer with loan but no cattle

PATRICK FARRELL dreamed of a new life as a cattle farmer. He borrowed $500,000, hired a Bathurst man, Francis James Loneragan, as a manager and bought more than 1000 cattle. Now, five years later, he still has the loan but no cattle. Loneragan had a gambling problem and in July and August 2007 he spent more than $278,000. At the same time, more than 400 of Mr Farrell’s cattle disappeared from the four properties he had leased in the Bathurst area. Loneragan, 46, has admitted he sold 799 cattle which did not belong to him and pocketed nearly $400,000 between October 2006 and September 2007.  Yesterday, Magistrate James Garbett sentenced him to three years in prison for 13 counts of obtaining money by deception.

Credit Union, With Mob Ties In Its History, Closed This Week

When the South End Mutual Benefit Association was shuttered this week by banking regulators, so went a once questionable Hartford banking tradition — one known principally among gangsters and FBI agents. Two decades ago, when the mafia in Connecticut was at its peak and legal casino gambling was just a dream, the mob made the credit union a “piggy bank” of sorts, using it to underwrite a multimillion-dollar, illegal gambling business.

Mobsters who ran illegal casino games at social clubs in Meriden, New Britain and Hartford had access to stacks of pre-approved credit union loan applications and used them to extend instant money to tapped out players. It meant reliable cash in south Hartford, where gangsters and would-be gangsters whispered importantly in the bakeries and Italian restaurants along Franklin Avenue.

Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty To Running $190 Mln Ponzi Scheme

A 37-year-old Minnesota man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to charges of running a $190 million Ponzi scheme.  Cook admitted that he schemed to defraud no fewer than 1,000 people out of at least $190 million from January 2007 through July 2009 by purportedly selling investments in a foreign-currency trading program.  But according to federal prosecutors, he used much of the money to make payments to previous investors; buy ownership interest in two trading firms and a real estate development in Panama; pay personal expenses, including substantial gambling debts; and acquire the Van Dusen Mansion in Minneapolis.

Ex-addictions counsellor stole to feed gambling addiction

An Edmonton judge must now decide whether or not a former high-ranking Alberta civil servant who pilfered $634,000 from the province should be put behind bars. On Monday, the Crown argued Lloyd Carr – the former executive director in charge of the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission’s tobacco reduction unit – should get a prison term of between three and five years. However, a lawyer for the 46-year-old disgraced bureaucrat, now living in Manitoba, suggested he be given a two-year conditional sentence to be served in the community. Ironically, the ex-addictions counsellor claims he committed the massive fraud to fuel his gambling addiction.

Former Alberta bureaucrat admits to false contracts

A former senior bureaucrat who defrauded the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission of more than $634,000 has admitted to creating a series of false contracts and funnelling government money into his personal bank accounts. Lloyd Carr, 46, was once executive director at AADAC. He pleaded guilty in February to fraud over $5,000 for a number of transactions that occurred between 2004 and 2006. During sentencing arguments Monday, Crown prosecutor Greg Lepp suggested that Carr was offering a “new excuse” by blaming the fraud on a gambling addiction.

Former school board member charged with swindling elder

Forest Grove Police say a former Forest Grove School Board member, Shawn Vilhauer, stole $50,000 from an elderly man in his care.  Police arrested Vilhauer Monday on charges of criminal mistreatment and theft. He’s currently lodged in the Washington County Jail. Vilhauer resigned from the school board in February 2008, citing demands in his personal life. In the fall of 2008, he became the caretaker of 70-year-old Gary Murray, a family friend.

Forest Grove Police Sgt. Jeff Williams said that while Vilhauer started off as Murray’s caretaker, eventually he was given responsibility only for paying the man’s bills. But instead, police say, Vilhauer took money from the man’s account and used it for a variety of personal expenditures, including vacations, bathroom remodel projects, online adult entertainment, online gambling and mortgage payments.

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