A Brief Look at Crime 12/05 – 12/11

Florida Rep. Erik Fresen, Pro-Gambling Lawmaker, Owes Thousands To The IRS

Over the past six months, state Rep. Erik Fresen has established himself as the go-to-politician for the gambling industry tycoons who want to bring gargantuan casino resorts to the Magic City. The lawmaker from Coral Gables is the mastermind behind one of two proposed bills that would allow Malaysian-based Genting or one of its Las Vegas competitors to build gambling castles in downtown Miami or the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Then again, considering Fresen’s own troubles with paying the IRS, maybe it’s no shock that he’s not putting taxpayers first.According to Miami-Dade court records, Fresen owes close to thirty grand in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and $641,000 to his mortgage lender. For a guy who claims a personal net worth of $330,000, that is a lot a debt. Even worse, he didn’t list the obligations on his most recent personal financial disclosure statements.

Man murdered in JB was gambling addict, wife-beater

The ex-wife of the Singaporean man who was kidnapped and murdered in Johor Bahru revealed that he was a gambling addict who chalked up about $36,000 in debts and physically abused her. In an attempt to repay his loans, he even asked her to become a prostitute, telling her that it was a job that paid well, Lianhe Wanbao reported. Madam Lim Kum Hui, 54, was married to the deceased Mr Sim Chee Yong, 56, more than 30 years ago for a short three years. He later married a Malaysia woman, Madam Lim Chai Mooi, 50.

 Prison sentence for central figure in stolen insulin ring

As early as 2003, Worley began sending stolen insulin and diabetic test strips to Pepin, prosecutors say. He would ship an average of 100 vials of insulin a week, then Pepin would put money in Worley’s PayPal account. The business paid well. Worley got more than $620,00 from Pepin, prosecutors say. The money went to casinos and for lottery tickets to fed his gambling addiction. But he was only one of more than 50 suppliers. Pepin had been buying stolen insulin and glucose test strips since 2001 and paid more than $9.8 million for them in just five years, court documents say. The feds have closed Pepin’s business for good. On Friday, the 57-year-old Florida man was sentenced to 28 months in prison in U.S. District Court in Seattle. He was also ordered to pay $823,577 in restitution.

 Ex-FEMA worker’s husband going to jail for Katrina fraud

A Moss Point man, whose wife is in prison for using a FEMA database for a disaster-assistance scam, is also going to prison for his role in one of the country’s largest Hurricane Katrina fraud schemes. Charles Ricco Moore Sr., 36, has been sentenced to 27 months in prison followed by three years of probation. He also must help his wife, LaShonda Booker-Moore, and her cousin, Peggy Hilton, repay $66,295.32. Court papers show that is the amount of money he allowed to be deposited in his bank account. The two women and at least three other South Mississippi residents were convicted in a scam that involved more than $721,000 in disaster-assistance money. “Due to my gambling addiction, I committed a money crime,” Booker-Moore said in a letter addressed from a federal prison in Coleman, Fla. “My husband is not stupid, but he loved me very much and he was very naive,” she wrote. “I know it was all my fault that my husband and our children are in this terrible situation today.”

 Rep. John Tierney’s brother-in-law found guilty

Daniel Eremian, the brother-in-law of U.S. Rep. John F. Tierney, was found guilty today of racketeering and illegal gaming in connection with a family run multimillion-dollar Internet betting empire, but was cleared of money laundering charges by the same federal jury. Eremian, 61, a self-described professional gambler who rose from Peabody pub owner to Boca Raton country clubber through the profits from Antigua-based Sports Off Shore, will be sentenced March 8 together with his debt collector Todd Lyons. Lyons, 38, of Beverly, was convicted today of racketeering, illegal gaming, money laundering, filing false tax returns and interstate travel in aid of racketeering.

 Ex-NBA star gets probation in Vegas casino case

Former NBA star Antoine Walker was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation and ordered to pay $770,050 in restitution to three Las Vegas casinos after pleading guilty to failing to repay gambling debts. Walker and his lawyer declined to comment after his brief appearance before Clark County District Court Judge Valorie Vega. Walker has repaid some of his Las Vegas casino debts since his arrest in July 2009 in Lake Tahoe, where he planned to play in a celebrity golf tournament. The felony charge could be dismissed if Walker fully repays the remaining debts incurred in 2008 and 2009 at the Planet Hollywood, Red Rock Casino Resort and Caesars Palace casinos, prosecutor Samuel Bateman said. Walker faces a year in prison if he violates probation.

 Bank robbery suspect arrested after using dye-stained cash at casino, police say

A  Waukegan man charged with robbing  a Naperville bank at gunpoint last month of more than $134,000 was arrested after he tried to use the dye-stained cash at a Hammond casino, authorities said. “That’s what you call low-hanging fruit,” said Ross Rice, a spokesman for the FBI, which investigated the case. This isn’t the first time Wayne Hill, 46, has been captured after allegedly robbing a bank. In 2004, he was arrested after robbing two Lake County banks wearing a fake beard, then tossing a bag with  the costume beard and a box of blank checks with his own name and Waukegan home address on a Libertyville man’s front lawn.

 Ex-Fry’s exec in kickback scheme told to pay $65M

A former Fry’s Electronics executive convicted of wire fraud and money laundering in a multimillion dollar kickback scheme has been sentenced to six years in prison. Ausaf Siddiqui was also ordered on Thursday to pay $65.5 million in restitution. Last week, Siddiqui’s lawyer asked U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel for a three-year sentence rather than the six-year term negotiated in a plea agreement. He said his client committed the crimes to pay off enormous debts resulting from a gambling addiction. Siddiqui has acknowledged embezzling millions of dollars from Fry’s between 2004 and 2008 by forcing vendors to pay kickbacks to ensure the company stocked their products. He filed for bankruptcy in July, listing nearly $137 million in debt, including about $20 million owed to Las Vegas casinos.

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