A Brief Look at Crime 12/13 – 12/19

Gambling may have sparked Minneapolis killing

Several hours before Mario D. Combs was shot several times and fell face-down near a garbage can in north Minneapolis, there had been a dice game, according to court papers filed on Tuesday. When the game ended, Richard Antwon Mayes-Lindsay was angry that he had lost money, court records say. He now stands accused of second-degree murder in the Dec. 10 fatal shooting of Combs, whose body was found by Minneapolis police shortly after he was shot.

Nun accused of embezzling $1.2M from college

Sister Susie, as Thornton was known on campus, has pleaded not guilty and is free without bond. Her lawyer, Sanford Talkin, declined to comment on what the newspaper called “suspicion in the Iona community that she was a gambler who frequented Atlantic City casinos during her years at the school. “The college did not report the theft to police, the paper said. It was reported to the Internal Revenue Service in May of this year in the college’s tax forms. The filing said an employee had stolen about $80,000 a year in small amounts by signing fraudulent checks and using a college credit card.

New Mexico Woman Leaves Children In Truck While Gambling

Pennsylvania is not alone with this problem. This week, a New Mexico woman waived her right to a preliminary hearing after she was arrested for leaving two children in a truck in freezing weather back on November 29th. The children were ages nine and five. The temperature was said to be thirty degrees. Kenny contends that she thought Smith was outside in the car with the children, and that she did not know they were unattended. The children were taken by the authorities and their whereabouts have not been revealed since they are both minors.

Man who scammed dozens for $4 million gets 10 years in jail

A man whose last known address was in Northampton got 10 years in federal prison Monday for scamming 50 people out of more than $4 million.  Robert Sturman, 57, was a former insurance agent who lured his clients and their family and friends into a pyramid scheme and other investment scams.  In 2008, Sturman told a district judge in Bucks County that he was a compulsive gambler. A large number of Sturman’s victims were teachers in Bucks County and Philadelphia, according to court documents. Some of them lost their life savings.

Gunman robs Bellagio of $1.5 million in chips

In the wee hours Tuesday, a man on a motorcycle pulled up to the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas, ambled over to a craps table, and just a few minutes later left with $1.5 million worth of chips. Luck had nothing to do with his windfall. But it was certainly a gamble, and Las Vegas police are now in pursuit of him for armed robbery. About 3:50 a.m., the man sped away from the casino on his motorcycle, toting chips ranging in denomination from $100 to $25,000. Police said he wore a motorcycle helmet and carried a handgun. The robbery took just minutes to pull off.

Ex-CFO of Maryland Legal Aid sentenced to 30 months

A tearful Benjamin L. “Bennie” King Jr. apologized to his family and former employer Legal Aid before being sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday for embezzling more than $1 million from the organization over a decade. Legal Aid Executive Director Wilhelm Joseph Jr., who spoke passionately about the betrayal felt by Legal Aid and the needy people it helps, said he accepted the judge’s sentence. “It’s another step in getting this horrific experience behind us,” he said.  Joseph said the stolen $1.14 million could have been used to offer legal help to lots of people over the years, including those most in need — the victims of abuse, the elderly and children. King kept 85 percent of proceeds, which he used on gambling and strip clubs. Jackson, who received a 15-month sentence in November for his part in the crime, took a 15 percent cut of proceeds.

Man Accused In Gambling House Shootout Appears In Court

Aaron Awtry, accused of shooting a Greenville County Deputy during a gambling raid, appeared in court today for a pre-trial hearing. Investigators say Awtry wounded a deputy when he fired from inside a home in November, turning the raid into a shootout. Sheriff Steve Loftis said in November Awtry was shot by members of the Vice and Narcotics Unit as they attempted to serve a warrant on what he says was a gaming establishment.

Six Defendants Sentenced for Illegal Gambling Operation

Kansas City, MO – infoZine – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that six defendants were sentenced today, in separate but related cases, for their roles in a $3.5 million illegal gambling business that relied on a Web site with a computer server located in Costa Rica. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul S. Becker and Jess E. Michaelsen. They were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Parents gambled while kids starved

A couple who gambled in Macau while their three children were left to starve at home were placed on 12 months’ probation  for child neglect. The children, aged 20 months to nine years, were found by social workers after  two of them failed to attend classes in September. Sha Tin Magistrate Pang Chung-ping yesterday chastised Liu for failing to fulfill her parental responsibilities, and said she was spared from a jail sentence mostly because she is due to give birth next week. “Did you think about your three children left unattended at home when you were gambling in Macau?” Pang asked Liu. “No, because I was too much into gambling at that time,” she replied.

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


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