A Brief Look at Crime 10/18 – 10/24

Tragic young mother addicted to pokies commits suicide

A coroner has found a direct link between a young mother’s suicide and her addiction to poker machines. Katherine Natt, 24, died in August 2006 after taking an overdose of paracetamol. South Australian Coroner Mark Johns said a suicide note left by the Adelaide woman indicated she had been addicted to poker machines for some time, losing thousands of dollars.

“Katherine’s suicide note and the evidence taken at this inquest show that she was addicted to gambling on poker machines as a result of which she suffered heavy financial losses and became concerned that she would lose the custody of one or both of her children,” Mr Johns said in his finding. “In consequence of these matters she took an overdose of paracetamol in what was a clear act of suicide.”

Woman’s online gambling led to £88,000 loan fraud

A 50-YEAR-OLD woman fraudulently took out two loans totalling £88,000 after developing a gambling habit on the internet. [She] was forced to finish work through ill health and became addicted to an internet gaming site. She initially funded her new-found pastime from her savings but when they ran out in 2005 she took out a loan for £37,000 from a personal finance company.

But prosecutor Neil Ahuja told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday that Mountford applied and secured the loan using forged signatures of her husband David and a neighbour, who was named as a witness. Mountford took out a second loan for £51,000 with the same company in March 2006, again using forged signatures.

Iowa horse trainer accused of injecting horses

A horse trainer in Iowa faces criminal charges for a horse-racing violation. The Des Moines Register says prosecutors have charged Brian Muse with three felony counts of cheating at a gambling game. Muse allegedly injected two horses with unknown substances on Sept. 24 before a quarter-horse race at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino near Des Moines. The Register obtained a report from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, which shows the allegation stems from surveillance camera in Muse’s barn.

Detroit Family Accused Of Operating Illegal Multi-State Gambling Business

A criminal complaint, unsealed Wednesday, showed that an investigation had found that a couple and their son had been operating an illegal gambling business, focused on a lottery using legitimate lotto numbers, had been uncovered. Charges have only recently been filed against the couple and their son, though seizures began in 2007. Operating an illegal gambling business without a license in the state of Michigan is a felony. The felony could be accompanied by a decades imprisonment as well as massive fines.

Fatal argument over gambling, court hears

A MELBOURNE man fatally stabbed his wife with a kitchen knife during an argument in January last year about him going to the casino to gamble, a court has heard. The jury heard today that Lubik and his wife, who married shortly after meeting in 2006, became involved in an argument on the night she died after he told her he was going to the casino to gamble. Along with his drinking, Lubik’s gambling had caused constant problems in their marriage, the court heard.

Prosecutor Daryl Brown said as a result of this confrontation, Mrs Lubik received a five centimetre stab wound to her throat which severed her carotid artery. Despite giving the operator the impression that he was complying with instructions to administer CPR by rolling his wife on to her back, Mrs Lubik was still face-down when police and paramedics arrived.

Reputed mobster accused of extortion and illegal gambling

Reputed New England mobster Darin Bufalino, whose criminal exploits span several decades, was arrested at his Winthrop home last night by State Police as part of a sweeping investigation into organized crime and drug dealing, according to law enforcement officials. Giallanella, who also goes by the name Jason Peters, is charged with extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, assault and battery, witness intimidation, attempt to procure perjury, loan sharking, and illegal gambling.

Former Flemington man sentenced to 33 months for embezzling $656,200

A former Flemington resident was sentenced Wednesday to 33 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $656,000 from his employer by making unauthorized ATM withdrawals using fuel cards that he ordered in the name of company truck drivers. Hamm, who pleaded guilty May 4, had been free on $100,000 bond and was attending counseling for his gambling, according to court papers.

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

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