A Brief Look at Crime 6/14-6/20

Police say Massachusetts parents left kids in Connecticut casino parking lot as they gambled

Two Massachusetts parents have been accused of leaving a 1-year-old and a 10-year-old alone in a car as they gambled at a Connecticut casino. Connecticut state police say Edwine Louissaint of Dedham and David Augustin of Milton face charges including second-degree reckless endangerment. Police found the children Thursday after being called to a garage at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket. State police Lt. J. Paul Vance says video surveillance and gambling records showed Augustin and Louissaint were in the resort for more than an hour.

Records provide details on Reno woman’s death

Soon after his wife called him a “coward” Wednesday for allowing his secret gambling problem to deplete their finances, a 55-year-old unemployed man gripped his hands tightly around her throat and squeezed until she turned blue and stopped breathing, court records released Friday show.Samuel P. Kung then went outside to smoke a cigarette. Det. Troy Callahan wrote in his affidavit that Kung had quit his job as a cook in April, and that Kung had been hiding his gambling problem from his wife. He estimated he was in debt about $20,000, and his wife recently discovered his secret. Kung said he had taken out numerous small payday and vehicle title loans and used overdraft protection lines of credit through his bank and credit union. “Mr. Kung stated that he realized he had ruined his life, and that he deserves his punishment,” the affidavit said.

Kimberly Sziraki pleads no contest in $1.6 million embezzlement case

Prosecutors said Sziraki embezzled the $1.6 million between 2005 and 2008 from Central Valley Processing Acquisition Corp., a nut processing plant in Merced County where she worked as a manager. Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Bacciarini said the lion’s share of the money was spent on online gambling. She’s married to Merced County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Sziraki. Prosecutors have said there’s no evidence he was aware of the crimes.

Trooper dragged by van outside S. Ind. Casino

State police say a trooper trying to arrest a man at an Evansville casino was dragged while trying to stop him from driving away. Trooper Kylen Compton and two other troopers reported seeing a van drive over a concrete median at Casino Aztar Sunday night. They tried to arrest him after finding out that the driver was wanted on a forgery warrant, but he began to drive away.

State police say Compton reached through the window to try and stop the van when he was dragged about 15 feet before freeing himself.  Troopers caught the driver and a passenger after a traffic and foot chase. The driver was arrested on charges including battery on a police officer and drunken driving. Compton was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Former NBA star Antoine Walker ordered to face trial in Las Vegas for felony unpaid casino

A judge on Monday ordered former NBA all-star Antoine Walker to face trial on felony bad check charges that allege he failed to repay almost $1 million in gambling debts and penalties to three Las Vegas casinos. The 33-year-old Walker said nothing as he appeared Monday with his lawyer, Jonathan Powell, before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson. He remains free without bail until his June 30 arraignment in state court.  The judge noted that Walker hadn’t made any progress repaying some $770,000 he owes on a promise last November to pay $905,050 in restitution, court fees and penalties. At the time, Walker forfeited toward that amount the $135,000 cash bail he posted following his arrest at a celebrity golf tournament last July in Lake Tahoe.

Accused $1m diamond thief in court

An Australian man will face trial this week, accused of a brazen daylight theft which made headlines last year.
The target of the robbery was the Hardy Brothers jewellery store in Melbourne’s CBD.  A 9.1-carat round-cut solitaire diamond engagement ring, worth $1 million, was taken from the Collins Street jeweller. He admitted to previously serving a 10-month prison sentence in Australia for burglary in 2004, blaming the incident on “a gambling problem.”

NJ Woman Charged In $45M Real-Estate Ponzi Scheme

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged a New Jersey woman with running a $45 million Ponzi scheme, alleging she raised millions of dollars under the pretenses of investing in real estate and instead, among other uses, gambled it away in casinos. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York alleged that Antoinette Hodgson, a 58-year-old woman from Montclair, N.J., solicited tens of millions of dollars from New York and New Jersey investors, telling them she would spend the money to purchase and renovate residential real estate and either re-sell or rent the properties.

Phila. Man Accused of Leaving Tot in Car to Go Gambling

Authorities say a Philadelphia man gambled with his son’s life Tuesday evening at a casino in Bucks County — leaving the toddler in the car while he played slots. Donald Waige stopped at the Parx Casino — just for a little while, he’d later tell police, to cash in a credit on his player’s card. Cops say the Juniata Park man thought that was short enough to ditch his 15-month-old, leaving him in a running, locked car in the parking lot, with the AC cranked: “He didn’t realize that an hour had passed. He was only going to run in for about 10 minutes. And he seemed to think it was okay to leave the air conditioning on and leave his child in the car — which obviously is not acceptable — and 10 minutes turned into an hour.”

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

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