A Brief Look at Crime 01/17 – 01/23

Reno man pleads guilty to strangling wife to death over gambling debts

An unemployed Reno man accused of strangling his wife because she called him a “coward” for gambling away their savings has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Following the killing, Kung confessed to police he strangled his wife during a dispute about his secret gambling habit depleting their finances.  Kung had approached an officer at the Second Street Reno Police Department station and said “I’ve done a bad thing. I’ve killed my wife.” According to court records, Lew worked two jobs as a local waitress while her husband had quit his job as a Chinese restaurant cook in April. Kung told detectives he had been hiding his gambling problem from his wife, that left them in debt of $20,000.

Lobbyist Massey headed toward prison

Acknowledging his admission of guilt will send him to prison, Montgomery lobbyist Jarrod Massey asked the court to give him a prison bunk. He’s due to be sentenced in September, but has asked the court to allow him to check into prison now to begin serving whatever time the judge will then impose.  Massey was one of even defendants named in an indictment announced in October in alleged vote buying scheme in the Alabama Legislature. Prosecutors convinced Massey to cooperate with them in December as he pled guilty to five bribery and one conspiracy charge. The deal included having prosecutors drop 10 other pending charges.

Several counties have constitutional amendments making electronic bingo legal within their jurisdictions. Some state officials, like Governor Bob Riley, say it’s illegal.  He launched an Anti-Illegal Gambling Task Force to threaten the operations saying Alabama law made it illegal to possess gambling machines in Alabama and they confiscated hundreds of machines. However, not a single arrest was made for the alleged violation of the law.  Massey’s job was to encourage lawmakers to pass a bill to untangle the legal spaghetti surrounding electronic bingo. Prosecutors say he tried to do it by conspiring to bribe people.

Gambling Activities May Have Played Role In Man’s Death

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico told News 8 that he is looking into whether John Troutman’s gambling activities may have played a role in his stabbing death.  The 74-year-old Swatara Township man was convicted in the early 1990s of bookmaking, Marsico said.  Troutman’s longtime girlfriend, Faye Sue Lassiter, found his body in the kitchen of his home Tuesday night. Investigators said signs of a struggle were found. Troutman suffered stab wounds to the head and neck.

Rio ordered to return $471,000 in gambling losses

The administrator of a bankrupt Illinois company won a $471,250 judgment Thursday against a Las Vegas casino after complaining officials at the firm used company funds to pay gambling debts while it was insolvent. The judgment was entered against Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s Rio hotel-casino in favor of William Brandt Jr., liquidating administrator of Equipment Acquisition Resources Inc. of Palatine, Ill. Equipment Acquisition Resources (EAR) collapsed in October 2009 after it “engaged in a massive fraud by which it sold equipment at inflated prices and leased the equipment back from various lenders,” Brandt said in court papers.

In hopes of recovering funds for creditors owed $175 million, Brandt in the bankruptcy case filed adversary complaints against several organizations including the Rio, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Wynn Las Vegas and the Luxor — all on and near the Las Vegas Strip. The complaints say that while managing EAR, executives Sheldon Player, his wife, Donna Malone, and Mark Anstett had EAR send money to the casinos to cover gambling debts and that these payments amounted to “fraudulent transfers” as EAR received nothing of value in return for the money.

Impeached federal judge Porteous surrenders Louisiana law license, resigns from practicing law

Louisiana federal judge who was removed by Congress last month has voluntarily surrendered his law license.  The Louisiana Supreme Court on Friday said G. Thomas Porteous elected to permanently resign from practicing law.  On Dec. 8, the U.S. Senate convicted Porteous on four articles of impeachment and approved a motion barring him from holding future federal office. U.S. House prosecutors said gambling and drinking problems led Porteous to begin accepting cash and other favors from attorneys and bail bondsmen who had business before his court. The New Orleans native was a state judge before President Bill Clinton appointed him to the federal bench in 1994.

Man Jumps To Death At Imperial Palace

Police are calling the death of a man in a fall outside a Las Vegas Strip hotel an apparent suicide.  Las Vegas police Lt. Patrick Charone tells the Las Vegas Sun the man died in the fall between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday outside the Imperial Palace.  Charone says the body fell several stories before landing in a courtyard between the Imperial Palace and Harrah’s Las Vegas towers. The Review-Journal reported the case looked like a suicide.

Fatal shooting over gambling debt referred to grand jury

The fatal shooting of a robbery suspect trying to retrieve an alleged gambling debt in southwest Houston will be referred to a Harris County grand jury. Police say the suspect, angry from a gambling loss from a pool game several days earlier, went to the victim’s residence. The suspect beat on the front door, and rang the doorbell several times.  The victim got out of bed, retrieved a pistol and went to the door.  As he opened the door, he recognized the suspect as a long-time acquaintance and stepped out to talk to him.   The suspect demanded his money again, referring to the pool game.  When the victim refused, the suspect pulled out a pistol and pointed it at the victim and demanded his money.  The victim produced his pistol and fired several times, striking the suspect.  The suspect then collapsed in the front yard.

Gambler found hanging in casino restroom

A habitual gambler was found dead hanging in a toilet of Kangwon Land, Korea’s only casino open to locals, in Gangwon Province on Jan. 15 in an apparent suicide, police said Thursday.  The 55-year-old man, identified by his surname Han, left a suicide note in his house, saying he was distressed by the gambling debts of about 360 million won ($321,629). A bus driver, Han frequented the casino on weekends and holidays, although his family tried to stop him from gambling. According to the police, he visited the casino 120 times over the past three years.

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