A Brief Look at Crime 03/21– 03/27

Gambling Crime:  Van der Sloot Played Online Poker After Slayings

Reports surfaced on Friday that murder suspect Joran van der Sloot may have played online poker immediately following the bludgeoning of Peruvian college student Stefany Flores.  Van der Sloot met Flores in a casino while attending the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) in Lima, Peru.  He later brought her up to his hotel room.  Flores body was found soon afterwards and van der Sloot confessed to the crime but later recanted.  The Dutchman is awaiting trial in the notorious Castro Castro Prison in Lima.  He is expected to plea temporary insanity as a means of serving less time behind bars. Authorities in Peru discovered his online poker activity while conducting a thorough investigation of his laptop.

Executive Fights Casino Over Debt

A Florida millionaire accused of walking out on a $1.2 million gambling debt is fighting the Mohegan Sun casino in court, arguing that the state judicial system cannot decide the case because the casino is run by a sovereign American Indian tribe.  The millionaire, Jerome Powers, chief executive of the cable network Plum TV, asked the Appellate Court of Connecticut this week to throw out a lower court’s ruling that would allow Mohegan Sun to seize his assets ahead of a potential final judgment against him. It is not clear when the Appellate Court will take up the case. In fighting the casino’s lawsuit, Mr. Powers contends that the credit agreement was an illegal gambling contract under state law and that state courts have no jurisdiction because the casino is run by the sovereign Mohegan Tribe.        

Former RV Dealer Senobio “Sonny” Rodriguez Is Sentenced in Fraud Case

BARTOW | A Lake Wales man was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison for stealing more than $78,000 by selling customers’ campers and recreational vehicles on consignment and keeping the money. Senobio “Sonny” Rodriguez, 65, pleaded guilty to scheme to defraud as part of a plea deal. Prosecutors agreed to drop four counts of grand theft. Circuit Judge Karla F. Wright also ordered that Rodriguez pay $78,900 in restitution and serve 20 years of probation.

Detectives also discovered Rodriguez gambled at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, the report states. Rodriguez was an elite member who spent a large amount of money at this casino, the report states. He lost $434,934 from 2005 through 2008, and his total bets during that time was more than $4.4 million, the report states.  A condition of Rodriguez’s plea deal is that he must receive treatment for gambling addiction.

Gambling Addict Stole 400 Billion Virtual Gaming Chips

Ashley Mitchell stole £7 million ($11.4 million) in virtual currency from Zynga Poker and has now been sentenced to two years in jail, the Guardian reports. “He made determined and repeated efforts to attack Zynga’s systems. He succeeded and transferred 400bn chips and sold them to realise a substantial profit.” James Taghdissian, representing prosecution said. Mitchell, a 29 year old gambling addict living in Paignton, Devon logged on to Zynga’s mainframe, stole the identities of two Zynga employees and transferred the virtual currency to himself. He sold the stolen chips to other Facebook users, over the course of two months ending with a total profit of £53,612. “Gambling had complete control of his life.” said Ben Darby, defending Mitchell.

Federal lawyer took bribes

LOS ANGELES – A former Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorney was sentenced Monday to more than 17 years in prison for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to create fake documents for immigrants in a scheme prosecutors described as an epic display of a public official’s greed.  Constantine Peter Kallas, a one-time assistant chief counsel for ICE, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. to pay $296,000 in restitution after being convicted last year of 36 counts, including conspiracy, bribery and fraud. Video footage provided by prosecutors showed  Constantine Kallas smiling and taking $20,000 in cash from a man at a California casino and shoving it in his pocket amid the din of slot machines.

Live-in health aide convicted of stealing from elderly patient

JOPLIN, Mo. — A home health care aide from Webb City was assessed a suspended imposition of sentence when she pleaded guilty Friday to draining her 95-year-old patient’s bank account to support her gambling at casinos. Circuit Judge David Mouton placed Shirley M. Nally, 57, on supervised probation for five years after her guilty plea on a charge of financial exploitation of the elderly at a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin. Nally changed her plea to guilty on an amended Class C felony count of the charge in a plea agreement with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office. She had been facing a Class B felony count of financial exploitation, which carries from five to 15 years in prison. The Class C felony count carries up to seven years.

Employees Gambling With Tax Payer Money In Baltimore

A gambling ring in Baltimore has been broken up by authorities and over a dozen city employees were arrested in the raid. The workers are accused of gambling and drinking alcohol while on the clock, something that does not sit well with Baltimore residents.  “At a time when government jobs are being cut and taxpayers are getting hit with higher bills to pay for city employees, it is awful that these workers were having a good old time at our expense,” said Haley Berger. “They should be prosecuted to show others that this is not acceptable behavior.”

Harrah’s AC fined $65K in theft, underage gambling

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. —  New Jersey gambling regulators have fined Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City $65,000 for allowing underage gambling, failing to detect thefts by a cashier and leaving cash boxes from three slot machines unattended for more than half an hour. The fines were handed down on March 8 and made public Thursday. They represent the first disciplinary action against a casino by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement since a sweeping change in gambling regulation was carried out in recent weeks.

Harrah’s did not contest the violations and agreed to pay the fines. A spokeswoman for Caesars Entertainment said the company had no further comment. The most serious violation involved casino security failing to detect four thefts totaling $23,000 by an employee in late 2008 and early 2009. A casino cage supervisor identified only as “MS” was accused of entering the casino’s main bank area while acting as a cashier when the regular cashier was gone.

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

Comments are disabled.

%d bloggers like this: