Twenty-four hours before they discovered the body of Dana P. Felts, Upper Chichester police arrested her alleged killer. Police picked up Walter Martin Monday night for retail theft outside the Rite Aid at 3120 Chichester Ave., and found him and his longtime girlfriend in possession of heroin and $2,578, some of it bloodstained, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Tuesday night, responding to a 911 call from family, police found Felts lying in a pool of blood in the kitchen of her Taylor Avenue home. They could not locate any of the $3,500 she had won the day prior at Harrah’s Casino in Chester.
A woman accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her employer accepted a plea deal Monday. Police said Linda Ireland took nearly $342,000 from Ken-Tech Machinery while working as an office manager. Investigators said the money went to support her gambling addiction. Ireland could be sentenced to at least 10 years in prison and must pay back the $342,000.
A gambling addict fleeced his employer out of more than $500,000 to fund his habit and pay maintenance to his ex-wife. Darren Kevin Ryan, 43, of Brisbane, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court today to one count of aggravated fraud. Prosecutor Ken Spinaze told the court Ryan was employed as finance manager with Oldmac Mazda in Springwood between 2006 and 2009 when he funnelled $540,417 into his own account. Documents tendered in court revealed Ryan carried out the fraud by stealing all or part of cash deposits made by customers for new and used vehicles. He concealed his crime by then falsifying accounts.
Authorities aren’t commenting on a sack of money reportedly dug up from the suburban Philadelphia yard of a convicted gambler. The FBI and agents from Montgomery County were digging around the upscale home of Joseph Mastronardo until late Wednesday and came up with a bag loaded with an undetermined amount of cash, a law enforcement source told the Philadelphia Daily News.
The News said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman refused to provide any details of the investigation. The source, however, said the activity was part of a continuing investigation into sports gambling. Mastronardo pleaded guilty in 2006 to misdemeanor gambling charges and was convicted in a larger gambling-and-racketeering case in 1987. He is married to the daughter of the late Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo, the newspaper said.
A leopard doesn’t change its spots, the saying goes. The same could be said of the Mastronardo brothers if what authorities say is true. The Montgomery County men were arrested again Wednesday night after authorities seized about $2 million cash from them and their alleged associates during a sweeping raid aimed at crippling the purported ongoing operation of a sports betting ring that stretches south to Florida and west to Las Vegas. The arrests came as Joseph V. Mastronardo Jr., 60, and John Mastronardo, 54, were on probation following their 2006 guilty plea to bookmaking charges that stemmed from their alleged running a multi-state gambling empire.