A Brief Look at Crime 8/16 – 8/22

Parents Leaving Children In Car While Gambling Becoming A Problem

Casinos and state governments have made advancements that are keeping deadbeat parents from collecting on winning jackpots. The next issue the casinos may tackle is the growing trend of parents leaving children in the car while they go in a casino to gamble. The trend is one that is sweeping across the US. The intention is usually to go inside the casino, play the slot machines for a few minutes, and return to the car. Too often, however, the parents are staying in the casino for hours and the children are being found by security guards.

The latest episode came on Thursday in Pennsylvania when Sharon Balek was charged with child endangerment. Her children, eight and fifteen years of age, had been left in the car for six hours while Balek was in the casino gambling. This is a growing problem that authorities are concerned about. “We’ve had calls through the years with kids left in shopping centers, but what’s making this hot is that we’ve had five in just a two month period,” said Fred Harran, public safety director in Bensalem, as reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer. “The gambling addiction, the glitter of it all, people go in to gamble and forget the kids. I just don’t get it.”

How tax collector could not resist casino, then crime

O’Neill is the Jenkintown tax collector who embezzled $225,000 to fund his slots habit at Parx Casino in Bensalem. He lost all of it, plus $125,000 of his own dough. The gambling addiction cost O’Neill his house, son, job, and pride. At 50, he’s living in his mother’s basement. He’ll soon plead guilty and could spend seven years in prison. He vows to repay every cent, but might die trying. “Gambling changed me, who I was, who I wanted to be,” O’Neill concludes. And it happened “because that casino was so close. I couldn’t stay away.”

Former N.J. Merrill Lynch financial advisor who stole $700K gets 7 years in prison

A financial adviser in New Jersey who stole more than $700,000 from dozens of clients and spent the money himself is headed to state prison. Stephen Severio of Fair Haven received a seven-year term Friday. He also must make restitution to his victims. Severio pleaded guilty in February to commercial bribery and two counts of theft by deception. His lawyer blamed Severio’s actions on a severe gambling addiction, for which he is now receiving treatment.

California men face allegations of illegal races with horses on coke, meth

A GROUP of men have been charged with animal cruelty and illegal gambling for operating a clandestine horse-racing circuit in San Joaquin County, California, that involved doping horses with methamphetamine and cocaine. A total of nine men have been charged along with the lead defendants, Manuel Monroy and his son, Simon Monroy-Segovia, who both stand charged with more than 30 counts, including animal cruelty, horse doping, bookmaking and holding bets. According to investigators, the clandestine horse races often drew big crowds who lined the quarter-mile straight tracks to watch so-called match races of two horses ridden by jockeys dressed in traditional racing silks.

Husband was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing his pathologist wife in front of young son

Habeel Khan was ordered to spend at least 15 years behind bars for the murder of Dr Iffat Kamal. But the 46-year-old maintains his innocence and will tomorrow take his case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh. A jury found her husband guilty of murder by majority verdict. He had offered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of culpable homicide but the Crown rejected it. Their two young sons were in the house at the time of the murder. The older boy, who was aged nine, gave detailed evidence during the trial of how he witnessed the murder. The court also heard Khan had a gambling habit and that he had lost £17,000 in spread betting.

Defendants Agree To Forfeit $13.3M In Online Gambling Case

Two payment processors and their owner have agreed to forfeit $13.3 million to resolve claims that the funds were involved in money laundering.  The funds are alleged to be traceable to the Pokerstars website based in the Isle of Man. U.S. prosecutors contend some of the money in question was traceable to wire transfers from outside the U.S. “by individuals and entities who knew that the funds involved represented the proceeds of the illegal transmission of gambling information and the operation of an illegal gambling business.

Tennis player Koellerer gets 2 years’ probation for putting gambling info on website

Former top-60 player Daniel Koellerer and his manager, Manfred Nareyka, have been placed on two years’ probation because Koellerer’s personal website listed odds for matches and had links to sites for placing bets. The Tennis Integrity Unit, the sport’s anti-corruption group, said Thursday that Koellerer and Nareyka “admitted” breaking rules about “facilitating betting.” If found to violate anti-corruption rules in the next two years, Koellerer, a 27-year-old Austrian ranked 134th, would be fined about $19,000 and suspended for three months. Nareyka would be barred from access to tournaments for a year. Otherwise, the penalties would expire.

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

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