A Brief Look at Crime 04/04– 04/10

Chiefs LB Vrabel arrested for theft

Kansas City linebacker Mike Vrabel was arrested Monday and charged with theft from a riverboat casino. The Switzerland County sheriff’s department said Vrabel, 35, was arrested at 5:30 a.m. and released about 5 hours later on $600 cash bond. He was charged with a class D felony. Vrabel, a three-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots, is a member of the NFLPA executive committee and one of the plaintiffs in the players’ antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. A hearing is scheduled Wednesday in Minneapolis in federal court in the lawsuit.

Peru woman admits to bank fraud

Admitting to a severe gambling problem that led her to desperation, a La Salle woman, who was a local credit union branch manager, entered a plea to committing bank fraud. According to court documents, Pena was employed as manager at American Nickeloid Employees Credit Union in La Salle and took out a home equity loan there for nearly $87,000 in August, 2008. In September 2009, she reportedly increased the loan, without proper authorization, to $250,000, a difference of almost $164,000. After bank auditors found the discrepancy, Pena was taken into custody Sept. 16.  In court Thursday, Sticka said a serious gambling addiction and subsequent money problems led Pena to her scheme.

Shinnick pleads guilty to Norwood School Employee Federal Credit Union theft

Stephen Shinnick pleaded guilty on Friday, April 1, to stealing $307,919 from the Norwood School Employee Federal Credit Union during the time he served as treasurer.  The former Coakley Middle School vice principal changed his plea in Norfolk County Superior Court on Friday. His lawyer Robert Goldstein said Shinnick had a gambling problem that caused his client to resort to stealing money from the credit union. “It was a ball that just kept rolling,” he said.  “If not for gambling (Shinnick) would not be sitting in this chair today,” Goldstein said of Shinnick, seated next to him, expressionless, and wearing a navy blue blazer and dark tie slightly off kilter. “He went on to say that he should’ve been caught three years ago,” according to the court documents.  “In addition, he stated that he had blown a 40 year career and everything he had ever done was ruined by these actions.”

Atlantic City hotel facing age discrimination suit

Resorts Casino Hotel is under fire for age discrimination after it allegedly terminated sixteen female employees over their appearance, according to multiple news reports. The sixteen employees, all longtime waitresses in their 40s, 50s and 60s, were asked by management to try on new, skimpier uniforms. The employees claim they were led into a room where they were photographed in the uniforms. Later a modeling agency representing the casino terminated the sixteen women, according to the report of one of the waitresses, who said all the uniforms were either size two or four. “I can’t think of anything I’ve dealt with that was more disgusting and dehumanizing than what they’ve done to these women,” Robert McDevitt of the UNITE-HERE union told FoxNews.

Daughter-in-law stripped elderly couple clean to fuel gambling habit, says Hernando detective

Jennifer Dennison used to bring her father-in-law doughnuts and ice cream cake and lemon pies. Back then, before he knew what she was capable of, Laverne Dennison called her a doll. Between those afternoon visits, authorities say, his daughter-in-law gambled at least $14 million in slot machines over two years at Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino — and in the process, lost more than $500,000 of her in-laws’ money.  Jennifer Dennison is accused of stealing the 88-year-old’s Social Security and his wife’s retirement money. Hernando County sheriff’s investigators said she forged his name on checks, drained at least six of their bank accounts and cashed in a pair of the couple’s life-insurance policies that totaled $36,000.  

Man Sentenced After Losing at Poker

A New Mexico man has been sentenced to prison after he asked to repay his investment scam victims through poker tournament winnings, but failed to find luck at the card table.  Samuel McMaster Jr. was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years. He pleaded guilty last year to charges of stealing nearly $450,000 from 23 investors. Prosecutors had agreed to delay the ex-insurance agent’s sentencing after he asked to attempt to earn money for restitution. The agreement included broad language that allowed those attempts to include gambling.

Priest charged with stealing from charity fund

A western Wisconsin priest has been charged with stealing money from a church fund for the needy. Officials at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson told investigators that nearly $11,000 was missing from a charity account used to help people in times of hardship. Prosecutors say Dahlberg admitted taking the money and says he has a gambling addiction. The 68-year-old priest resigned his position last month.

Gambling Crime:  Mafia Gambling Ring Busted

A Mafia-linked gambling ring with ties to the offshore gambling sector has been busted up by authorities in Queens, New York. The ring allegedly netted some $8 million over a nearly 3-year period. Arrested and charged were Michael Palmaccio, 39, for bookmaking; Gerry Gullotti, 45, charged with loansharking; Ronald Salerno, 33, charged with debt collecting; and Cono Natale, 46, charged as a runner for the operation.

Oklahoma gambling addict ordered to federal prison

A gambling addict who stole almost $500,000 from her employer was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison. Deanne Rae Meshew, 47, of Shawnee, also was ordered to pay $436,106 in restitution to the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration. The council is a not-for-profit organization of public school administrators. Meshew must pay $50,000 to an insurance company and $84,556 to the Internal Revenue Service. She must complete 104 hours of community service in the first year after her release. U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton chose the punishment. “I hope you’ve learned your lesson,” he said.

June trial for former Roselle priest accused of stealing $400,000 from church for gambling

A judge has set a June trial date for a former Catholic priest charged with stealing more than $400,000 from his former church, in part to feed a gambling addiction. The Daily Herald reports that DuPage County Judge John Kinsella set a June 13 bench trial for 47-year-old John Regan. The Rev. John Regan was pastor of St. Walter Parish in Roselle from June 2006 until 2008. Regan has pleaded not guilty to felony charges including theft and money laundering. He is accused of stealing the church funds and then spending the money at riverboat casinos.

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

Comments are disabled.

%d bloggers like this: