A Brief Look at Crime 7/12-7/18

World Cup exposes gambling problem among Hong Kong youth

As Spain celebrates its World Cup glory after defeating the Netherlands last night, Christian leaders in Hong Kong are calling for tighter restrictions on football gambling among minors. In a joint survey of nearly 1,000 Hong Kong citizens below the age of 18, the New Hope Fellowship and the Truth and Light Society found that 6.2% had bet on the World Cup. Of the minors surveyed, 43% said that the World Cup had been their first experience of gambling. New Hope Fellowship, which helps gambling addicts turn their lives around, fears there may be as many as 70,000 minors gambling, out of 1.2 million minors living in Hong Kong. It warned that minors were more likely to become addicted to gambling than older people, and that they were borrowing money in order to place bets.

Bank Boss Stole £245k to Fund Internet Gambling Habit

A bank manager drafted in to balance the books stole almost £245,000 to fund her addiction to online gambling. Nicola Taylor, 39, siphoned off the money from cash reserves over an 11-month period. She hoped she would hit the jackpot and be able to pay back the cash before anyone discovered it was missing. The reserve at the Co-operative Bank in Oldham should have totalled £300,000. But when it was finally checked after senior bank officers had become suspicious of her activities, there was just £31,350 left. Taylor, of Grenville Terrace, Ashton under Lyne, who has now been declared bankrupt, had been called in to resolve a number of minor cash discrepancies. When interviewed she said her dishonesty had begun when she falsified the books to cover up a genuine shortfall she had been unable to resolve.

Former Timberlawn PTA President Indicted

The former president of the Timberlawn Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association has been indicted by a Hinds County grand jury on embezzlement charges, court officials said. Nicole Johnson is accused of gambling away thousands of dollars of PTA money, officials said. She surrendered to police in March in connection with an investigation into the disappearance of $20,000. Officials said Johnson surrendered her PTA position in April after a board member noticed the money was missing from Timberlawn’s PTA.

Winery embezzler assaulted her husband

A former accountant who is serving five years in prison for stealing more than $7.4 million from a Grimsby-based winery pleaded guilty yesterday to assaulting her husband at their Dundas home. Christine Papakyriakou, 54, now admits it was she who assaulted Alex Papakyriakou and not the other way around. At her fraud trial last year, the court heard Papakyriakou had extensive psychiatric problems and had suffered a horrendous childhood, with an alcoholic father who beat his spouse and children. Papakyriakou filed a $10-million lawsuit in 2009 against Casino Niagara, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, claiming casino operators were responsible for turning her into a pathological gambler and thief.

Fake Casino Chips Score Legal Trouble

A Wichita man used $100,000 in fake casino chips at the Argosy Riverside Casino, according to federal prosecutors. Zhe “Kevin” Li, 37, faces three charges in federal court related to passing 1,000 casino chips worth $100 each, according to U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips. Federal prosecutors allege Li exchanged the chips between Oct. 19 and Dec. 16, 2008, for cash or to play blackjack and other table games. Li deposited $35,500 from the fake chips into his bank account and then used the money to help pay off his 2007 Hummer H3, Phillips said. Federal prosecutors say Li received $2,547 in food stamp benefits for himself, his wife and two children by claiming his savings was less than $100.

Police: Man robs business after losing money gambling

A Charlotte man is accused of robbing an Internet gambling cafe after he lost all of his money. Police say 28-year-old Roderick Bittle was gambling at Lucky Sweepstakes along Freedom Drive. An employee told police Bittle said he had a gun and demanded to get back the money he lost. When the clerk refused, she says Bittle knocked her to the floor and assaulted her. Police say Bittle also forced three customers inside the store to the back of the business and demanded cash from them, but none of the customers had money. Bittle fled the store empty-handed. He was caught by police a few hours later. Police say Bittle will be charged with multiple counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping.

Cop-killer Hu Yihua says ‘he dreams of being a professional assassin’

A MAN suspected of shooting dead two traffic officers while he was on the run for allegedly killing a young couple told police he had planned to be a professional assassin.  Hu allegedly told police that he had planned to take a train from Xiamen to Zhejiang Province, where he had allegedly killed the couple and stole their car, and then go to Yunnan Province before going to Myanmar to become a mercenary.  Since 2008, Hu has been obsessed with guns and military websites. Zhejiang police seized two guns and an army knife from his home in Jinhua. He is divorced, unemployed and a gambling addict, the report said.

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

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