A Brief Look at Crime 05/09– 05/15

Online Poker Companies Face Money Laundering, Bank Fraud Charges

Three online poker companies have been accused of bank fraud and illegal gambling after a federal bust on Friday, Yahoo! News reports.  PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker are all based overseas, however the indictment states that federal investigators are after $3 billion in money laundering penalties and forfeiture from the 11 defendants hit with the charges. Manhattan prosecutors have accused the alleged offenders of using banks to launder billions in illegal poker revenue, and have slapped restraining orders on 75 bank accounts used by the poker companies in 14 countries.

Two sent to prison for online gambling business

A federal judge sentenced two local men to prison Thursday for their roles in an illegal Internet sports gambling business. James J. Moretina, 62, of Kansas City received a year and a day. James L. Dicapo, 58, of Parkville received three years and five months. The sentences were roughly within the ranges asked for by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Becker. Though Moretina declined to address U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey before hearing his sentence, Dicapo choked up and offered a statement. “I’d like to apologize to you for having to come here, and to Mr. Becker, the FBI agents and my family,” Dicapo said. “I’d like to get it over with.” And with that, he went to the U.S. Marshals Office to surrender for his sentence. Moretina will surrender on June 16.

Billings man sentenced for defrauding Wyoming insurance company

A former claims adjuster who admitted stealing more than $150,000 from his employer to feed a gambling addiction will spend 21 months in federal prison. Ryan Paul Shipman, 37, of Billings apologized in a brief statement before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull sentenced him Thursday. Calling his actions a serious mistake, Shipman said they didn’t define him a person and he asked for leniency.  “You had what appeared to be a great job,” Cebull said. Then Shipman abused his employer’s trust and threw away his job for a gambling addiction, he said. Shipman didn’t think he had a problem even when he was spending $800 a night on gambling machines, he said.

Crime family member gets 10 years for murder plot

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a member of a prominent New York crime family to 10 years in prison for ordering the murder of a Russian hitman. Judge Richard Howell of the Southern District of New York said he handed down the maximum sentence to Anthony “Tony D” Palumbo as a deterrent. Palumbo, a member of the Genovese organized-crime family, pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to commit murder in aid of a racketeering enterprise. Palumbo was arrested along with 11 others in 2009 as part of an effort by federal and local authorities to crack down on the Genovese family. The charges included violent extortion, loansharking, narcotics trafficking and running illegal gambling operations.

Five-year probation for fighting pit bulls

Cletus Gaskins, the man found by police at the scene of a dog fight in north Sanderson last year with blood on his clothes and a mutilated dog in his truck, was sentenced to five years’ probation the afternoon of April 22 by Circuit Judge Phyllis Rosier. About a dozen animal rescue and pit bull advocates from the Gainesville area picketed for two hours outside the courthouse with signs urging jail time for the Gaskins Circle resident and his co-defendant Omar Aldridge of Starke. Both pleaded no contest in March to a pair of third-degree felonies: dog fighting and animal cruelty. Mr. Aldridge, who also faced a child abuse charge for fleeing the dog fighting scene on Circle G Lane without his then 4-year-old son, withdrew his plea minutes before being sentenced.

Assistant State Attorney Geoffrey Fleck wanted a stiffer penalty as well, given the spread of dog fighting in recent years and the criminal activities associated with dog fighting like gambling, drug use and violence. “You’re talking about a system that inflicts unnecessary pain on sentient creatures,” said Mr. Fleck, who has experience helping to prosecute dog fighting cases nationwide.

Massive football match-fixing scam covering 300 games under FIFA investigation

London, May 6(ANI): FIFA is reportedly investigating a massive football match-fixing scam after uncovering evidence of fixers manipulating over 300 games. Investigators believe that match officials have been bought for as little as 10,000 dollars per match to help deliver specific scores or events in games, enabling fixers to make hundreds of millions of dollars on Asian gambling markets. “The threat from match-fixing to the integrity of the global game is significant. England is the home of football and London is a global financial centre so it does not surprise me that the financial aspects of this activity lead to London,” said FIFA’s head of security Chris Eaton, a former Interpol official. “Interviews with those involved have told us that that fixers can spend upwards of 300,000 dollars to stage a friendly international and they do that with the expectation of a significant profit margin. Our information is that we are talking about tens of millions of dollars in profit from each successful fix,” he added.

24 mob suspects arrested in Rhode Island

Two dozen alleged members of the Patriarca crime family in Rhode Island have been arrested on racketeering, gambling and other charges, authorities say. The alleged New England mob members taken into custody Friday included paroled killer Frank “Bobo” Marrapese Jr., 68, of Cranston, The Providence Journal reported. State police Capt. James Demers said the arrests are the result of an investigation started last fall after police received information that Vincent “Big Vinny” Tallo, 49, of Johnston allegedly was running an illegal gambling ring, the newspaper said.  Tallo also was among those arrested.

Woman who embezzled $600,000 from a Grand Rapids bank gets 37-month prison sentence

A woman who admitted embezzling about $600,000 from a Grand Rapids bank has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. Joann Wierenga’s lawyer says she needs help for a gambling addiction more than a long prison stay. Her sentence Monday was at the low end of the guidelines. Wierenga pleaded guilty in February to embezzling from Huntington Bank for seven years. Her lawyer says she has repaid at least $132,000 and admitted the thefts when confronted by the bank in 2009.

Hammer attack son fractured mum and stepdad’s skulls in ferocious attack

A MAN who launched a savage attack on his mother and stepfather with a claw hammer for no apparent reason has been jailed for 14 years. Former student Mark Dunning, aged 23, flipped after returning home from a party and launched his vicious assault, leaving his victims, who are both prison officers, with fractured skulls. Neither a top psychiatrist or probation officers were able to discover the reason behind the ferocious assault. The only possible clue, the court heard, was that Dunning had financial and gambling problems – although his barrister Guy Wyatt said it was no excuse for his behaviour.

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