Daily Archives: October 22, 2011

A Brief Look at Crime 09/26 – 10/02

Hells Angel’s slaying prompts state of emergency in Nevada city

The fatal shooting of a California Hells Angels leader during a casino melee with a rival gang Friday night has prompted the mayor of Sparks, Nev., to declare a state of emergency and cancel an annual motorcycle event, authorities said.  “The safety and security of the public is our No. 1 priority,” Mayor Geno Martini said in a  statement Saturday.  No suspects have been arrested in the fatal shooting of Jeffrey Pettigrew, 51, president of the San Jose Chapter of the Hells Angels, and the shootings of two members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club during the brawl at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort, authorities said. Leonard Ramirez, 45, was in stable condition at a hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and Diego Garcia, 28, was in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the leg, authorities said.

 Ex-officer gets 20 years for stealing $656K from union

When Ray Hunt, vice president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, saw one of the organization’s treasurers betting with orange chips at a Louisiana casino in 2004, he had to ask what they were worth.  “They were thousand-dollar chips,” Hunt testified. “I bet with red chips. They’re five dollars.” The man with a fistful of orange chips was Matthew Calley, 46, who was sentenced on Friday to 20 years in prison for stealing more than $656,000 from the union over seven years. Hunt testified that he asked a friend of Calley’s if the veteran officer had a gambling problem.

City Woman Embezzled $560,000 From American Diabetes Association

A city woman faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for embezzling almost $570,000 from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and using the stolen money to buy fancy clothes and gamble.  Adrienne Carrington, 56, of Fredericksburg, pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Neil H. MacBride and Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office James W. McJunkin. She will be sentenced on Jan. 20. “Adrienne Carrington abused her position of trust to rip  off half-a-million dollars from the American Diabetes Association in an  extremely callous crime,” said MacBride. “Instead of  helping the 25 million Americans affected by this serious disease, she stole the organization’s money and spent it  gambling, buying fancy clothes, and dining out.”

Sparks man sentenced to 20 years in prison for “inside job” robbery of Gold Ranch Casino

A 26-year-old Sparks man whom authorities said was part of an “inside job” of robbing the cash vault of a Verdi casino and then spent thousands of dollars of the stolen loot on prostitutes, jewelry, alcohol and expensive hotel suites was ordered Friday to serve up to 20 years in prison.  Kimbell’s friend, Edward Lozano, 30, had been a bartender at the casino and gave Kimbell the key to the casino vault, authorities said. Kimbell stole more than $190,000 from the vault, while Reno police recovered around $140,000 from Kimbell’s storage shed. Officials estimated the pair blew about $30,000 — in the three days before they were arrested — on clothing, cell phones, jewelry, hotel suites, “partying,” and heavily tipping nightclub staff. Several thousand dollars in cash were also seized from the men when they were arrested at their hotels, police said.

Feds Move to Seize Assets Belonging to Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson

US Federal authorities have moved to seize assets belonging to Full Tilt Poker pros Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst.  The three were named as defendants in a civil complaint alleging they were part of an elaborate “ponzi scheme” related to Full Tilt Poker. The Feds claim that the three men pilfered the company to pay their bloated salaries by removing funds belonging to customers.  According to the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, five accounts associated with those individuals have since been restrained. 

Deadly price of gambling

British Columbia’s addiction to gambling is continuing to reap sad stories. But despite mounting evidence that gambling expansion has created a host of social problems, the government has been slow to do anything about them.  Most recently, a B.C. man is calling on casinos to do more to help addicted gamblers after his wife committed suicide in Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver. She had accumulated a six-figure gambling debt in B.C. casinos.  Figures show suicides linked to gambling addictions are increasing. So are a host of other problems. Twenty years ago, it was a rarity to find people in criminal court who had gambling addiction. Not any longer. One suggestion to help problem gamblers is a requirement that those entering casinos show their identification at the door. That makes a lot of sense. It’s a minimal imposition and one that could also help address other problems in the gambling industry, such as money laundering and loansharking.

 Man called girlfriend before setting himself and car on fire

A second-hand car dealer who died after setting fire to himself and his car in March this year, had called his girlfriend to tell her of his intention to kill himself. The deceased also told her that he thought life was meaningless, and said he planned to meet his mother in the after-life.  Mr Chen’s mother had died a year ago. According to Ms Chen, he felt guilty for not spending enough time with her, and became addicted to gambling.  He had lost more than $120,000 at the casinos, and was left with a debt of $72,500 at the time of his death.  His burnt body and car were found at a parking lot along East Coast Parkway.

 Saginaw police say illegal gambling ‘not a victimless crime’

Illegal gambling rings such as the Saginaw County numbers game network that police say was managed by retired foundry workers in their 70s are not harmless operations, law enforcers say.  Such a criminal enterprise — especially when combined with the drugs and weapons police also found during countywide raids executed Sept. 21 against 24 suspects within the group — can lead to deadly situations, Saginaw Police Sgt. Kevin Revard will tell you. “This is not a victimless crime,” he said. As proof, police point to three Saginaw robberies-turned-murders since 1997 that they’ve linked to other gambling rings. Some of those rings may have involved some of the same players as the group facing scrutiny today, police said.

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