A Brief Look at Crime 07/04 – 07/10

Businessman kidnaps boy to pay gambling debts

A businessman who was heavily in debt due to gambling was arrested for allegedly kidnapping a five-year-old boy for ransom from outside a school in Punjabi Bagh area of west Delhi on Tuesday morning, police said. The accused, identified as Milind Godi (26), has a diploma in hotel management from London and is the owner of an automobile parts factory with a turnover of Rs 60-70 lakh. Godi made the kidnapping plan after watching a Hindi movie and decide to target a student of Hansraj Public School student in Punjabi Bagh thinking that it was a posh area and that the parent of the child, Ram Arora, would end up paying the ransom amount, police said.

 Tragic death of gambling addict dad

A GAMBLING addict hanged himself after running up debts and losing his cafe, an inquest heard. He left a suicide note saying: “The biggest regret I have is starting to play fruit machines as a teenager which led to a gambling addiction which I was unable to control.” Just four months previously, Mr Lockhart, who was separated from his wife and lived alone, lost a cafe he ran in Thorne after he could not pay the bills. A Rotherham inquest heard he once bet £500 on a snooker game but lost the match and the money. His daughter Hayley Leach said: “My father’s death came as a big surprise as I wasn’t aware of any medical problems.” She saw him every few days and would frequently see him popping into a bookies on Maltby High Street. Hayley said: “For many years he had a gambling addiction which got out of control.”

An Post manager ‘bet millions’

A senior post office manager, who went missing last week as a massive suspected fraud was discovered at his branch, had gambled several million euro in recent years. The family of Tony O’Reilly (36) have admitted he has a gambling addiction   that spiralled out of control in recent months. Details of the extent of his gambling problem have yet to be fully established  but it is understood that several million euro were wagered in betting transactions over a few years. Those transactions included winning as well   as losing bets.  A large proportion of the bets were placed through online and telephone   services provided for customers by a bookmaking firm.

 Bangalore man hits wife after argument, commits suicide

An argument over a gambling habit between an elderly couple late on Saturday night resulted in the suicide of the husband and hospitalisation of the wife. 56-year-old Prathima, wife of Shanthakumar (65), was to fly to Los Angeles last night to take care of her pregnant daughter, but fate had other plans.  On Saturday night, she and Shanthakumar had an argument and he slammed her head against a wall in their house in Basaveshwaranagar. Prathima collapsed to the floor bleeding profusely from a head injury. Fearing he had killed his wife, Shanthakumar hanged himself from the fan in the drawing room.

 Vermont-based Trono Fuels manager accused of embezzling over $220,000

A woman in charge of financial accounts at Trono Fuels Inc. is facing allegations she embezzled more than $220,000 from the company over five years. Nancy Poirier of Williamstown was indicted June 15 in U.S. District Court in Burlington on one count of embezzlement. Poirier is scheduled to plead to the federal charge at her arraignment Wednesday. Peter Trono, owner of Trono Fuels, said his company became aware of the alleged embezzlement during an in-house audit about a year ago, and he had not previously suspected Poirier of wrongdoing. “It’s very significant,” Trono said. “It’s a quarter of a million dollars. It’s a lot of money.”

The alleged embezzlement affected the company’s ability to purchase oil and the contributions it made to its employees’ 401(k) retirement plans, he said. Trono referred specifically to the case of Kathy Lantagne, who was sentenced Thursday to 33 months in prison for embezzling more than $490,000 from the Vermont Department for Children and Families. Lantagne, 48, of West Charleston, said she stole the money to support a gambling habit.

 Former Boulder bookkeeper Michelle Shelton sentenced to eight years for embezzlement

A former bookkeeper was sentenced to eight years in prison in district court on Friday for stealing more than $700,000 from her former employer, Boulder-based company Highline Financial.  Michelle Lynn Shelton, 40, stole around $768,671 from August 2007 to December 2010 while working at Highline as an account manager. She was arrested in January and pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft. Shelton, who was emotional throughout the hearing, was diagnosed with a gambling addiction, which she said was one of the reasons she stole money.  “I’ve made a lot of mistakes and now I’m forced to answer to them,” Shelton said to the court. “I’m devoting the rest of my life to finding out what caused this and never letting it happen again.”

Former Republican Party Chairman Caught up in Baltimore’s Online Gambling Sting

A former Republican party chairman allegedly stole $17,000 from political funds while fueling his online gambling habit. $27,300 of those funds were charged through Linwood Payment Solutions”, a processing company set up by the US Justice Department and Homeland Security. Larry Carillo, the former Larimer County, Colorado, Republican Party Chairman is charged with theft between $1,000 and $20,000, a fourth-degree felony that carries a penalty of up to four years in prison and a $500,000 fine.  A warrant for his arrest was issued on Tuesday. 

 Exec at children’s TV station Kika jailed for embezzling millions

A former executive for the German children’s TV channel Kinderkanal (Kika) was sentenced on Tuesday to more than five years in jail for stealing millions from the public broadcaster. Marco K., a 44-year-old production manager, was convicted of 48 counts of fraud and accepting bribes by a court in the eastern German city of Erfurt. Judges handed him a milder sentence of five years and three months after taking into consideration his full confession and serious gambling addiction.

East Hanover-based financial advisor admits stealing $1.9 million

A 35-year-old former financial advisor for an East Hanover company, who authorities said was addicted to online gambling, pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing $1.9 million from nine investors. Hawthorne resident Daniel J. Trolaro admitted to state Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan in Morristown to one count of theft of $1.9 million between June 2008 and February 2010. His victims included residents of Long Hill Twp. and Rockaway. Trolaro’s plea agreement with state Assistant Attorney General John Kennedy calls for him to be sentenced on Aug. 19 to up to 10 years in prison though defense lawyer John Bruno said he would argue for a five-year stint.

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

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