A Brief Look at Crime 08/29 – 09/04

5 detained in attack that killed 52 in Mexico

Police in northern Mexico have arrested five alleged members of the Zetas drug cartel suspected of setting a casino fire that killed 52 people, authorities said Monday. The five men, aged 18 to 37, have confessed to participating in the attack Thursday at the Casino Royale and of belonging to the Zetas drug cartel, the governor said, and some had been arrested before for kidnapping or extortion. Police are investigating whether the attack in the city of Monterrey was in retaliation for not paying extortion money.  The attack “was directed at the casino, not at the people,” Medina said in at a news conference where he also showed a video where two men are seen at filling large jugs with gasoline at a gas station near the crime scene.

Obama condemns deadly attack on Mexican casino

President Barack Obama is condemning as “barbaric” and “reprehensible” a deadly assault on a Mexican casino that killed 52 people. In a statement issued from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where he is wrapping up a vacation, Obama said Friday that the Mexican government and its people are waging a brave fight to disrupt violent transnational criminal organizations and that the U.S. will remain a partner with Mexico in that fight. He said America’s thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families.

Gambling debt ‘sparked murder of Hexham pensioner’

A GAMBLING debt could be behind the murder of a pensioner bludgeoned to death in her own home, police said today. Detectives said wanted man Graeme Jarman could have suffered a big loss at the bookies shortly before the killing of 77-year-old spinster Judith Richardson. The 47-year-old, described as “a risk to the public”, is on the run following Miss Richardson’s death in Hexham, Northumberland, two weeks ago. Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson said: “You are aware we are keen to speak to Graeme Jarman, who has committed serious violent and sexual offences in the past. “We have been making lots of inquiries about his background.” “What we know is that he likes sport, including cricket and football, and that he also likes to go to bookmakers and betting shops. “In fact we now know he has had a problem with gambling for years.

 1,474 gamblers arrested in 3 days

More than 1,400 persons have been arrested and 500 cases registered during the past three days of raids on gambling centres across the state. Police said the raids would continue till the menace of gambling is put to an end. The raids were sparked by the suicide of a gambler in Country Club in the city four days ago. “Gambling centres are flourishing in the name of clubs and recreation centres and ruining many families. These centres are host to many anti-social activities across the state which is slurring over the image of the police and government,” Additional Deputy General of Police (Law and Order) SA Huda said.

Teenager plunders girlfriend’s £20,000 account to fuel gambling addiction

A teenager plundered his girlfriend’s bank account and stole most of her £20,000 inheritance to fuel his gambling addiction, a court heard. “This was a persistent and protracted course of offending in breach of trust,” said the judge. “It demonstrated real meanness on your part. It was exploitative and despicable. Those are words properly applied to what you did. “You did it partly because of your gambling addiction and partly because of greed and the opportunity being there.” “Soon after she ended the relationship with him he admitted in Facebook messages that he was responsible for taking the money and that it was spent on gambling. “He said he’d had a gambling addiction since August 2010 and would take bus trips into town when she was at college and make withdrawals so he could bet at Ladbroke’s.

Mexican army, feds raid casinos after arson attack

Hundreds of soldiers and federal agents are raiding casinos in this northern city, authorities said Saturday, two days after an arson attack on a gambling house killed 52 people and stunned a country that had become numb to massacres and beheadings. Security forces had so far confiscated about 1,500 slot machines at 11 casinos in Monterrey and its surroundings and arrested three people, Mexico’s tax agency said. It said the continuing operation was meant to verify whether casinos had paid taxes or introduced slot machines illegally. Thursday’s arson attack by gunmen was a macabre milestone in a conflict that the government says has claimed more than 35,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against drug cartels in late 2006. Others put the death toll near 40,000. The torching of the Casino Royale has raised questions over Mexico’s regulatory controls for fast-spreading gambling houses.

Sparks office manager sentenced in $750K embezzlement case

A Sparks office manager accused of embezzling of nearly $750,000, causing dozens of construction workers to be laid off, was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison ordered to pay back the money. Terry Straw, 58, blamed her gambling addiction and love of slot machines for why she stole nearly 3/4 of a million dollars from Reno-Tahoe Construction Inc. during a five-year period. “There is widespread damage with that much money stolen … it was like a nuclear explosion when this happened,” he said.  Reeder said Straw’s theft caused him to lay off 60 people, and the business almost had to close. Now, although fragile, the company does have mining projects outside of Northern Nevada and have rehired employees.

 He took all our money’: Embezzlement threatens future of Kirkland charity

A Kirkland-based charity that’s been swindled out of more than $112,000, according to federal criminal charges, has lost so much money that its future operations are in jeopardy. “This is an awful thing that’s happened to us,” said Steve Lamson, founder of the RMH (Ronald McDonald House) Holiday Cruise. “He took all our money.” Morrison is charged with stealing at least $112,220, although other parts of an investigation estimate the total loss at more than $142,220. “There might be $4,000, maybe $5,000 left,” said Lamson.

Lamson founded the nonprofit cruise in 1982 and expanded it in 1996 by drawing support from the Kirkland Police Department and other sponsors, now including the Medina Police Department, the Seattle Police Officers Guild, Argosy Cruises and the Overlake Golf & Country Club. “It just kept growing,” said Lamson, and now the cruise takes hundreds of ill children and their families on Christmas Eve voyages on Lake Washington annually. The children are victims of such illnesses as leukemia and are residents of Seattle’s Ronald McDonald House.

Morrison was suspended by the Ohio company in December, 2008, and formally fired in January, 2009, Carroll added. Morrison was dismissed from the Holiday Cruise on Jan. 20, 2009, for suspected theft. He now lives in Tallahassee, Fla. When he was asked about the possible thefts in 2008 and early 2009, Morrison replied that he “had a gambling problem,” Carroll continued.

SunFirst Bank Could Go Belly Up After Online Poker Indictments

SunFirst Bank, which is alleged to have processed online poker transactions and disguising them as dog food and golf ball purchases, appears to be on life support. Executives of the bank were charged along side the co-founders of three online poker companies, including Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and UB.com. The FDIC ordered the St. George, Utah-based bank to take corrective action in order to raise needed capital or otherwise sell the bank.  “They are facing the same troubles that all banks in the country are facing,” said Tom Bay, supervisor of banks for the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. “The real estate downturn and the economic crisis have hurt the banking industry.”  SunFirst was widely believed to have been in trouble at the time they forged a relationship with the three big US-facing online poker rooms.  In exchange for allowing the gambling transactions, the online poker companies are alleged to have invested in the financial institution.

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

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