A Brief Look at Crime 6/21-6/27

Man With Stab Wounds Found Dead In Room

A 33-year-old man was  found dead, with five stab wounds in the chest, on a bed in a room at a shophouse in Taman Segar, Cheras, here Wednesday, police said. Cheras Police deputy chief Supt Abdul Rahim Hamzah Othman said Liew Siew Meng was believed to have died three days ago and it could not be ruled out that he had committed suicide. He said a 10-inch knife was found beside the body and an A4-size paper with the words “saya tidak mahu berjudi lagi” (I do not want to gamble anymore) was found pasted on a wall in the room.

Woman pleads guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from employer

A office manager for a New Orleans dermatologist pleaded guilty to embezzling over $550,000 from her employer, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. “The records would demonstrate that the defendant routinely and consistently made electronic withdrawals from the dermatologist’s Chase practice account in order to make payments on her own personal credit card accounts. The credit card records would also indicate habitual visits to gambling establishments throughout the time period of the withdrawals.

Thieving employee almost cripples company

A senior employee stole $2.7 million from her company employer over six years to spend as a VIP high-roller at Auckland’s SkyCity Casino. Herminia Lanuza pleaded guilty in Auckland District Court this to fraud and theft and her accountant partner Divinia Granados admitted laundering stolen money through bank accounts, The Weekend Herald reported. The couple will be sentenced in August. Lanuza worked as a senior financial controller for an Auckland company, whose name is suppressed, from 2002 to 2008 systematically stealing cash to feed her gambling addiction nearly leaving the firm insolvent. The missing millions were uncovered only after an unpaid tax bill was discovered in March 2008.

Problem gambler gets 7 years after second theft

A WOMAN who stole almost $250,000 from a community organisation has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Rosanne Rita Payne, 26, worked for Desart at Alice Springs and had been released from jail on a suspended sentence for stealing $350,000 from the NT Government when she stole from Desart. Payne pleaded guilty to 26 fraud-related charges in the NT Supreme Court at Alice Springs, and Justice Stephen Southwood sentenced her last week. The problem gambler managed accounts at the small business, and entered two of her account numbers in a computer system under the names of businesses that Desart used occasionally.

SkyCity continues to profit from crime

The Problem Gambling Foundation questions why SkyCity Casino continues to profit from the millions of dollars that finds its way into their coffers from criminal activity. Hot on the heels of the multi-million dollar drug ring that used SkyCity Casino’s VIP lounge as an office to plan P deals, the casino profits again from the $2.7 million stolen from an Auckland business that ended up in their VIP high roller room. Graeme Ramsey, Problem Gambling Foundation CEO, says SkyCity should not be able to retain the profit derived from criminal activity. “Here are two cases of fraudulent activity where millions of dollars have ended up in SkyCity’s coffers,” he says. “Why should SkyCity be able to profit from crime? An innocent Auckland business has just lost $2.7 million and they deserve to be recompensed in the same manner as the ASB Bank reached a successful agreement with Peter Versalko’s service provider.”

Republic man indicted on federal charges for running gambling business

A Republic man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for running an illegal gambling business from August 2008 to August 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City announced. According to the indictment, Donald E. Bishop, 34, was part of a conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling business and exchanged poker chips for cash with a confidential informant and undercover law enforcement officer on at least 14 occasions. The news release said Bishop also employed a dealer who allegedly traded poker chips for cash with a confidential informant at least twice. The news release, distributed after normal business hours Tuesday, contained no other details of the gambling business and did not say where it was located. Officers with the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Missouri Highway Patrol and Republic Police Department were involved in the investigation.

Bookies flee Malaysia after cops close in on World Cup betting rings

MORE than seven big-time Malaysian bookies who are believed to be running illegal football betting rings have fled to neighbouring countries following a nationwide police crackdown since the start of the World Cup. Police are now hot on their heels and working with Interpol to nab them. The individuals, some of them believed to be businessmen, have resorted to carrying out their operations in those countries. Police also identified three local bookie syndicates operating overseas and receiving bets in US dollars. The first 10 days of the World Cup have seen illegal bookies raking in a whopping 300.7 million ringgit (S$129.7 million) in bets placed by Malaysians hoping to strike it big. Intelligence chief Bakri Zinin said they were working round the clock and have raided 156 places throughout the country and arrested 120 people, including a 15-year-old student and 20 women.

Mother left boy in car while gambling

A District Court judge has heard a mother left her son, 7, in an unlocked car for almost 30 minutes while she played poker machines in a Gold Coast hotel. The Southport District Court heard the 38-year-old woman left the boy in a car parked outside the Ferry Road Tavern at Southport in June last year. She spent 26 minutes inside the hotel buying cigarettes and gambling before returning to the car and driving home. Today she pleaded guilty to one charge of “leaving a child under 12 unattended”.

Gambling addict steals $750k from betting agency

A young Victorian gambling addict has admitted to stealing $756,000 from Tasmania’s state-owned betting agency. Dylan Johnstone of Warrnambool pleaded guilty in the Hobart Supreme Court to committing 362 counts of computer fraud in November 2009. The 23-year-old discovered a flaw in an online bill paying service called PoLi. Similar to PayPal, he used the service to credit the money into his Tote online gambling account. Johnstone’s lawyer said her client had lost his job and was about $40,000 debt when he committed the crimes. She said he got caught in a damaging cycle of gambling.

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

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