A Brief Look at Crime 05/02– 05/8

Gambling debt leads to death for motorbike taxi driver

Police are searching for a motorbike taxi driver suspected of beating to death a co-worker who supposedly owed him money from gambling. The suspect, identified only as “Bang,” and five other unidentified men allegedly killed 29-year-old Chetakorn Promsopa April 20 in a public bathroom near a construction site on Soi Doodee in central Pattaya. The two men worked together at a taxi stand near there.  Chetakorn’s sister said her brother and Bang had a disagreement over an unpaid gambling debt. The dead man apparently tried to hide out in the toilet, but Bang and the five others found him and inflicted a severe beating. Chetakorn later died of his injuries at Pattaya Memorial Hospital. 

Fraudster calls police on himself

A fraudster couldn’t bring himself to go through with a plan to rob the bowling alley he’d already ripped off for $30,000, so he turned himself in to police. Michael Gignac, 41, was given a six-month conditional sentence and two years of probation on Thursday after pleading guilty to fraud over $5,000. Gignac’s gambling addiction led him to steal $31,075 from Laurentian Lanes Ltd., a chain of alleys that includes Vanier’s McArthur Lanes.

Murdered driver’s widow speaks out on gambling scandal

The widow of the chauffeur of one of the suspects in the illegal gambling scandal has spoken out to claim her husband was killed because he knew too much.  Alexei Prilepsky was found dead in April, prompting claims that his murder might be connected to his work with Marat Mamyev, a close associate of underground casino suspect Ivan Nazarov. And in that high-profile case, which has already sparked a turf war between investigators and prosecutors in Moscow Region and prompted the president to intervene, it appears that the wrong connections could be deadly.

Former bank office manager spared prison for larceny

Joseph D. Schneck, a former HSBC back office manager whose gambling addiction lead to him stealing almost $54,000 from the bank, today was spared a prison term by State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang. But the judge barred him from entering any Western New York casinos. Schneck, 41, of Unionvale Road, Cheektowaga, was placed on probation for the next five years on his Jan. 25 guilty plea to two counts of third-degree grand larceny. Wolfgang also placed him on a government-imposed “exclusion list” that will be posted at local casinos. chneck, now working for a relative’s construction company, admitted to stealing $53,710.70.

Charges in Davis killing amended to second degree murder

It’s an unusual case because of its complexity and the lack of physical evidence– but the two women accused of murdering Brian Davis in June 2009 are expected to stand trial this year. Davis was found shot to death Wednesday, July 1, 2009 next to his truck off Big Lake Road. The 39 year old man worked for an insurance company. In the months to come investigators would conclude that Davis was murdered by his wife, Robyn Davis and her close friend Carol Saltzman. According to court records Robyn Davis had a gambling addiction and was the beneficiary of a $645,000 life insurance policy– yet attorneys representing her and her alleged accomplice say the women did not commit the murder. At this point the trial is to begin November 7th.

Prescription drugs funded gambling habit, says crown

A Huntsville woman on social assistance who lost more than $350,000 at the casino over the past 13 years was funding her gambling habit with pills, a Bracebridge court heard last week. Court heard that on March 1, Massey was arrested while in the process of selling 150 OxyContin tablets. Police estimated the street value of the drugs to be more than $9,000. According to federal Crown attorney Peter Heath, that seizure was just the tip of the iceberg. In total, Massey lost more than $350,000, court was told. The entire time Massey was living on social assistance that added up to roughly $1,500 a month, court heard.

Branchburg investment advisor admits $7 million fraud

A Whitehouse Station woman who owned a Branchburg-based investment adviser, Systematic Financial Associates, admitted defrauding more than 50 investors of more than $7 million by soliciting investments in a fictitious investment program. Venetis admitted that she stole money to fund her own lavish lifestyle, using victims’ investments to pay for gambling debts in Las Vegas and elsewhere, as well as trips — including to Alaska, Italy, France, India and the Caribbean. She also misappropriated investments to pay her monthly mortgage, property taxes and other personal expenses.

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

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