A Brief Look at Crime 12/12 – 12/18

Man sentenced to three life terms for Tenafly triple murders

Convicted triple-murderer Kang Hyuk Choi was sentenced Wednesday to three concurrent life terms for the stabbing deaths of three members of a Tenafly family three years ago. Defense attorney Francis Meehan said Choi had a serious gambling addiction that depleted his finances and ruined his credit. He came into contact with Sean Kim, who had posted an online ad to help people repair their credit, Meehan said. Choi later began working for Kim, who promised him that he could earn up to $20,000 a month, Meehan said.  Choi became angry when the money never came, and after an argument at Kim’s home in May 2008, he stabbed Kim with a large kitchen knife, Choi said during his guilty plea in September. Choi then went after Kim’s uncle, Doo Soo Seo, and stabbed him repeatedly, leaving the blade inside the 70-year-old man’s body, Mello said. He then rummaged through the house, stole $30,000 in cash and fled in Kim’s BMW, Mello said.

 Troopers: Riverview man heads to casino after killing one, injuring two in crash

28-year-old man who troopers said caused a crash that killed one driver and sent two others to the hospital was arrested at the Hard Rock Casino late Sunday after fleeing the scene. Henry Michael Tippins, 28, of Riverview faces 12 charges in the aftermath of a deadly hit-and-run at the intersection of Hillsborough Avenue and 56th Street. According to Florida Highway Patrol records, Tippins was intoxicated just before 8:30 p.m. while driving a 2003 white Hummer west on Hillsborough Avenue. After searching for several hours, Tippins was located at the Hard Rock Casino, where troopers said he went directly after the crash.

 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.

 Former AIDS group official pleads guilty to embezzling more than $100K

The former executive director of a Boston area nonprofit organization for individuals living with HIV/AIDS pleaded guilty today to charges of embezzling more than $100,000 from the organization due to a gambling problem. Valerie Tebbetts pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to three counts of larceny, and one count of making false entries in corporate books during the time she worked at the Boston Living Center. She was sentenced to five years of probation. During that time, she is expected to attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings, pay $123,500 in restitution funds to the center, and stay away from casinos and Massachusetts lottery games.

 NY bank teller stole $240K, arrested at casino

A former bank teller stole more than $240,000 from work, left an apologetic note for his boss and was arrested days later playing baccarat at an Atlantic City casino, prosecutors say. A former bank teller stole more than $240,000 from work, left an apologetic note for his boss and was arrested days later playing baccarat at an Atlantic City casino, prosecutors say.

Gambling addict embezzles $1m from audio showroom

An audio equipment salesman embezzled more than $1 million of his employer’s money, blowing most of it at a casino.  Gambling addict Tang Yong Kwok carried on swindling victims even after he was sacked from the showroom – coming up with a new ruse to cheat his customers, some of whom were old friends. The 31-year-old was jailed for six years on Monday.  The court heard he was in debt to loan sharks and gambled regularly at Marina Bay Sands, as well as on the 4-D lottery.

 Former Casino Worker Allegedly Steals Over $1 Million

Officials at Mountaineer Casino and Racetrack are trying to figure out how a former worker could steal over one million dollars. One thing we have confirmed is that 48 year-old Anita Ambler was in a position to do so. Ambler had been working as a bookkeeper at the Casino since the 1990’s. Over the time investigators and the FBI found that Ambler had allegedly been funneling money into several bogus accounts.  Ambler faces 42 felony charges including: 21 counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud, and 6 counts of transacting in criminal proceeds.

 Former York Symphony Orchestra manager charged with stealing more than $200,000

A woman told police she stole more than $200,000 from the York Symphony Orchestra to support her gambling addiction while she was the orchestra’s office manager, according to charging documents. Phyllis Ann Shoff, 55, who also used the name Phyllis Ann LoPresti, faces five counts of theft by deception and two counts of access-device fraud. In an interview with Follmer on Aug. 11, Shoff “admitted that she had stolen money belonging to the YSO, saying only that she had a gambling problem and she didn’t realize the extent of her problem,” according to charging documents.

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

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