Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Brief Look at Crime 01/16 – 01/22

Woman sentenced to prison for embezzling $1M from best friend’s Sparks business

A realty office manager, affectionately called “Super Sue” throughout the small Sparks company run by her best friend, was sentenced Friday to the maximum term of 10 years in prison for embezzling nearly $500,000 to fund her gambling. For two decades Carolyn Sue Causey, 62, had been the office manager for Pat Schweigert, owner of ERA Realty in Sparks. Schweigert told Washoe District Judge Brent Adams that she earned the money and entrusted Causey to process it and pay bills.  Last year, Schweigert was shocked when an IRS agent told her she owed the government more than $550,000 for not paying payroll withholdings taxes the last several years – a task that was Causey’s duty. She soon learned that Causey had additionally stolen nearly $1 million from her company through fraudulent checks, doctoring accounting logs and creating bogus accounts and payments.

Wife slashes husband then falls to her death

A loud argument between a couple ended tragically when the wife slashed her husband with a chopper, then fell to her death from their flat. The man, Mr Ng Tiong Lam, 59, was told that his wife had been drinking and flirting with men at a foodcourt near their block of flats at Woodlands Avenue 6. Mr Ng confronted Madam Boon Soon Leng, 48, when she returned home. A quarrel erupted, and Madam Boon threatened to slash her husband with a chopper. She charged at Mr Ng and slashed his arms and his ear before slashing herself. She then ran out of the flat. Mr Ng told the media that he and his wife quarrelled frequently – she did not like his gambling habit, and he did not like her drinking sessions with other men.

Players Claim Online Poker Site Stole $20 Million by Cheating

High-stakes poker players claim that UltimateBet stole $20 million from “crooked” online poker games by exploiting security flaws that allowed others – or the website and its operators themselves – to see players’ hole cards. In the federal RICO complaint, eight named plaintiffs claim they lost $2 million in the rigged games. Lead plaintiff Daniel Ashman says the cheating scandal has “been the subject of intense public interest and scrutiny.” Named as defendants are the online poker and gambling website operator, 6356095 Canada Inc. aka Excapsa Software, and 10 John Does.

Police: Pa. robbery suspect used infection threat

Police say a man tried to rob a western Pennsylvania gambling parlor by threatening to spread a staph infection. Online court records don’t list an attorney for 41-year-old Fred Parker, of Coolspring Township. Police say he walked into Lucky’s Internet Cafe in Sharon on Monday night and began touching the walls and gambling machines, claiming he has MRSA _ a serious staph infection that resists antibiotics. Sharon police Chief Mike Menster says Parker then threatened to infect the cashier if he didn’t give Parker money. The chief tells The Herald newspaper of Sharon, “It’s our first case of robbery by threat of an infectious disease.” Police say Parker left when the cashier refused, but was arrested a short time later based on his description.

Montville man admits stealing $10.4 million, enters guilty plea in federal court

A Montville resident has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $10.4 million from his employer. David Newmark, 39, who lives in the Towaco section of the township, surrendered to federal authorities Wednesday and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. “David Newmark admitted stealing from his own management company, creating a phony account to collect more than $10 million in fraudulent deposits,” Fishman said. “Making personal use of company cash, it was only a matter of time before he was caught with his hand in the piggy bank. Now not only will Newmark have to pay back the money he stole, he will have to pay a debt to society as a convicted felon.” Newmark was represented by attorney Michael B. Himmel, who said his client has a gambling problem and had turned himself in to the U.S. attorney’s office of his own volition. “David’s very sorry for what he has done,” Himmel said. “He had a significant gambling habit and that got the better of him and he hopes to turn it around.”

Tropicana Fined $17,500 for Allowing 14-Year-Old to Gamble

New Jersey casino regulators have fined the Tropicana Casino and Resort $27,500 for allowing a 14-year-old to gamble last summer, as well as violating the rules of a card game. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement, in rulings made public on Tuesday, fined the casino $17,500 in the underage gambling case, and another $10,000 for violating the rules of Spanish 21, a variation of blackjack. The boy, identified only as “CG,” was spotted by investigators playing slots on Aug. 12 at 11:20 p.m. As they were watching him play, a casino security guard walked right past him and did nothing. “Due to CG’s youthful appearance, the division investigators requested that he produce identification,” Deputy Attorney General R. Lane Stebbins wrote in his complaint against the casino. “CG then admitted to the division investigators that he was 14 years of age.”

 Former KC charity director admits thefts, gambling losses

A former Kansas City man who embezzled more than $100,000 from two local charities pleaded guilty Thursday to federal bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. Sean Patrick Taylor, 53, admitted that he lost at least $72,000 playing slot machines at a Kansas casino. Much of the money came from the Epilepsy Foundation of Kansas and Western Missouri and Westport Cooperative Services. Taylor served as executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation from 2007 until April 2009. In August 2009 he began work as executive director of the Westport group, where he worked until May 2010. He left both nonprofits after being confronted about his stealing, prosecutors said.

 Two swindlers sent to prison for bilking B.C. aboriginal groups of almost $1 million

Jail terms were imposed Wednesday on two men who pleaded guilty to defrauding two aboriginal organizations of nearly $1 million. Craig Morrison was sentenced to two years in jail while his co-accused, Dennis Wells, received an 18-month jail term. Morrison, 34, and Wells, 55, last year pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000 in connection with the fraud perpetrated against the Aboriginal Council of B.C. and the B.C. Aboriginal Fisheries Commission. Morrison was working as a bookkeeper for the two non-profit, federally-funded organizations and diverted the funds to Wells, his cousin. Court heard that the two men had drinking and gambling problems, with Wells spending much of his share of the money on gambling sprees at a casino.

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

Super Bowl XLVI – how much gambling are we talking about?

Super Bowl XLVI brings about lots of excitement with the electricity of stats, facts, and the epic rematch of 2008’s Eli Manning’s Giants and Tom Brady’s Patriots.  Millions of people will engage in this social event and spend time at parties across the country.  However, Super Bowl Sunday is also one of the largest social gambling events in the nation. The Morning Sentinel points to the 2007 Super Bowl as having an estimated $8 billion in wagers placed on its outcome. This flashy, center-stage event brings out several “social” gamblers, some of whom consider placing little bets here and there harmless. The article explains that experts have information to the contrary.

Guy Cousins, acting director of Maine Office of Substance Abuse, is referenced as estimating that 3 to 5 percent of those who participate in wagering will become problem gamblers. Another expert mentioned, Lee Thompson, president of the Maine Council on Problem Gambling explained, “We’ve seen an increase in the calls from Maine to the Nation Council on Problem Gambling hotline, from eight calls a month in 2003 to over 100 a month in 2006.”

It appears that the glitzy glam of the Super Bowl attracts people to make social wagers, a harmless bit of fun in their mind. But the dollar amount waged on the Super Bowl climbs each year, as does the number of problem gamblers. The Super Bowl garners over three times the amount wagered on NCAA basketball’s March Madness.

Is this a harmless Sunday addition to one of America’s most popular day of sports? The numbers show it only to be a growing problem.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 01/09 – 01/15

Ex-Treasurer Milton Carnes sentenced to probation for stealing $62,500 from Steelton Volunteer Fire Company  

Milton C. Carnes, a decorated former firefighter and ex-treasurer of the Steelton Volunteer Fire Company, was sentenced to 7 years’ probation today for stealing more than $62,500 from the unit between 2005 and 2010. Dauphin County Judge Scott A. Evans imposed that penalty after a half-dozen uniformed firefighters, Carnes’ former colleagues, attended the court hearing and urged him to be lenient. Assistant Public Defender Dana Wucinski said the thefts stemmed from Carnes’ gambling addiction. Carnes, 34, went to the district attorney’s office and admitted to the embezzlement last January. Deputy District Attorney Jason McMurry backed the probation proposal, saying that is what the fire company wanted. Evans, who called the case a “heart-wrenching shame all the way around,” also ordered Carnes to pay at least $500 a month in restitution.

Man accused of killing sister in Naperville wants to act as own lawyer

A Lakemoor man accused of beating his sister to death with a blunt object — possibly a hammer — wants to represent himself in court. Mark Lewis, 51, told a Will County judge Monday he believes he can adequately defend himself because he understands the case against him and can read and write. The comments were met by a “strong” recommendation from Judge Richard Schoenstedt for Lewis to consider a public defender. But Lewis refused to fill out the necessary paperwork, maintaining he wants no assistance. Family members told investigators Mark Lewis has paranoid schizophrenia and is a gambling addict. Several weeks before the killing, they said, he took on an “escalated psychotic state” after being told the family was “cutting him off” financially, according to court records. He also was being evicted for unpaid rent.

Updated – Man explains why he killed his wife

A man who has admitted to killing his wife and mother of their three children, told a court today that he had not intended to commit the crime. But the prosecution called for life imprisonment and said that the fact that the accused had carried a knife in his bag showed that this was premeditated murder. Roger Agius 49, of Fgura, admitted to fatally stabbing his estranged wife Catherine, 41, just before he was to undergo a trial by jury this morning. Dr Nadine Sant, prosecuting, said a husband killing the wife he was expected to protect was the worst act. The murder, she said, was premeditated because the accused had been carrying a knife. He stabbed her close to her heart with such force that even part of the handle penetrated the body. This man had a drinking and gambling problem and even evicted the family from their home so that he could enjoy his lifestyle.

Convicted swindler admits he spent nearly all the money stolen from investors’ life savings

ST. LOUIS — When forced to testify under oath what he had accumulated through two decades of stealing the life savings of investors, Edward Moskop was forced to admit he spent nearly all of it. When Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerald Burke asked the 64-year-old swindler where he got the money to pay for his one-way $99 airfare to Denver to report to prison, he said he borrowed it from his mother and his ex-wife. He must report on Jan. 18 to the Englewood Federal Correctional Institution in Littleton, Colo., to serve a 20-year sentence. Under federal rules, he must serve at least 17 years. He must also pay restitution of about $1.5 million. When asked whether Moskop had engaged in illegal gambling, an activity that U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton previously said his office strongly suspected, Moskop invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination. His attorney Justin Kuehn, of Belleville, advised him not to answer questions about illegal gambling, including card playing for high stakes.

Dozens of animal corpses found in Italian lake

President Lorenzo Croce added: ‘We know that the Camorra is running dogfights for illegal gambling and holding dogs in what can only be described as canine concentration camps until they are ready to fight. ‘Other animals are also being used in international trafficking for vivisection purposes – we believe that this discovery is just the tip of the iceberg and there are many other dumping sites around the region.’ An investigation has been launched after the bodies of dozens of dogs, cats and rabbits were found dumped in an Italian lake. Officials suspect the dogs were bred for illegal fights, but other animals had single knife wounds which some suggest may have been inflicted during a bloody mafia initiation ceremony.

 Players have been killed, admits FIFA’s head of security as war against match fixing continues

FIFA’s head of security has once again cranked up the publicity machine in the war against match fixing with fresh evidence of the scale of the problem worldwide. Chris Eaton (pictured), who recently told insideworldfootball that lives were at risk but that over 20 players had nevertheless already come forward to blow the whistle, gave further details today of the attempt to bring the criminals to justice. “We are very concerned about the safety of players [and] officials,” Eaton told a media briefing in Zurich. “There is anecdotal evidence that some players have been killed. “Match fixing is all about stealing money. “It destroys the lives and careers of many people. “Governments should be interested because the amount of money is truly staggering.”

Match fixing and illegal betting has reached such alarming proportions that the former coach of South Korean club Sangmu Phoenix was found dead in October in an apparent suicide, three months after being charged as part of the new crackdown. “We have evidence of players in South Korea committing suicide because of the shame of match-fixing,” said Eaton. “There are players who pay the ultimate price for resisting or for the shame of match fixing.”

Atty General: Gambling Addict Stole from Charity

He’s accused of stealing more than a million dollars meant to help families of Arizona soldiers serving overseas. Now, we are learning how he was able to do it. According to the Attorney General’s Office, retired Colonel James Burnes was taking and gambling money for years. His co-workers were suspicious, but they figured he’s their boss, so they left it alone. Eventually, the suspicious withdrawals become too much to ignore. Burnes was authorized to handle the charity’s money back in 2001. A few years ago, the suspicious withdrawals began, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to documents obtained from the Department Of Emergency and Military Affairs, Burnes would transfer money between various accounts and request the checks be handed over to him. He would then deposit the money.

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

UPDATE: Florida Gambling Bill’s Fierce Opposition Causes 170 Page Rewrite by Senator Bogdanoff

Casino Watch Focus reported that the Coalition to oppose the Florida destination casinos bill had grown to an impressive level when top Florida Cabinet members Bondi, Putnam, and Atwater joined the fray.  Now that the short, 60-day legislative session has begun, the clock is ticking on the bill’s supporter, Senator Bogdanoff, to get the votes necessary to pass the legislation.  The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the uphill battle has caused Senator Bogdanoff to rewrite the bill in a desperate hope to get support:

Senate sponsor Ellyn Bogdanoff last week released a 170-page rewrite of the bill to help take pressure off reluctant lawmakers by including a requirement that any county — including Miami Dade or Broward — that wants to attract one of three mega resorts must first get voter approval.

To win over supporters of the existing pari-mutuels, the revised bill allows them to operate Las Vegas-style games and receive a lowered tax rate if they compete directly with the new casinos. And across the state, any struggling horse and dog tracks and jai alai frontons would be allowed to ask voters to let them install slot machines.

The bill also attempts to win over gaming opponents. Bogdanoff, a Fort Lauderdale Republican, and House sponsor, Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, would ban new pari-mutuel permits, regulate or close internet cafes and set up a strict new regulatory structure. The state would create a new “Department of Gaming Control” to administer and license the casino resorts and regulate the pari-mutuels and card rooms.

The bill has the effect of expanding gambling even more under the guise of allowing public choice.  The best chance for the bill to gain early traction appears to be in the Senate.  The Tampa Bay Times explains:

There is no guarantee these changes will assuage critics when the bill comes up for its first vote in the Senate. But the bigger test is in the House, where a conservative Republican majority and a presiding officer, whose home territory includes Disney World in Orlando, are reluctant to open the door to anything that could harm the state’s family-friendly tourism image. One thing is certain about the looming legislative debate over gambling: It will be an epic battle in Tallahassee.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 01/02 – 01/08

Utah Couple Arrested In Carjacking, Double Murder

US Marshals arrested a Utah couple Tuesday in connection with a two-state crime spree that included a violent carjacking and a burglary that left two dead. Logan McFarland, 24, and Angela Atwood, 25, were arrested without incident at about 1:20pm local time after being spotted walking in the Nevada desert near the Utah border, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The two are suspected in the fatal shootings of Leroy and Dorotha Fullwood, 70 and 69, who were found dead in their own home on New Year’s Eve in the small Utah town of Mount Pleasant, about 100 miles (160km) south of Salt Lake City. After the fatal home invasion, McFarland and Atwood allegedly stole a car and drove it to West Wendover — just west of the Utah-Nevada border — where they tried to exchange their vehicle with a 35-year-old local woman in a casino parking lot early Saturday.

No prison time for Long Khong, who embezzled $800,000 from nonprofit

A man who embezzled more than $800,000 from the Colorado Association of School Executives was sentenced Friday to five years of supervised release but avoided the prison term prosecutors were seeking. As part of the sentence, Long Khong will not be able to make credit-card charges or obtain new credit cards. He must get a job, build a budget and put at least one-quarter of his salary toward paying full restitution to the association and an insurance company. He must continue with gambling- addiction therapy and he is not allowed to place any bets, including playing the lottery. The association, known as CASE, is a nonprofit that provides professional training to school leaders. Bruce Caughey, CASE’s executive director, said he was shocked by the sentence. Since the theft was discovered, the association has reduced professional staff by 25 percent and had to cut programs for members, in part because of the missing money.

Mass. state trooper charged in illegal gambling racket

Casino developers are hoping for a chance to do business in Massachusetts, but the illegal gambling business is already active in the Bay State, according to an affidavit made public Tuesday as part of a criminal complaint by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston. The  affidavit (pdf download), sworn by an FBI officer in the bureau’s public corruption squad, accuses a Massachusetts state trooper, one John M. Analetto, of extorting money from a confidential informant, an alleged bookmaker who, according to the document, told the FBI he has been involved in illegal interstate gambling businesses for about 17 years. Analetto’s alleged role in the informant’s business began when the state trooper offered to loan the confidential informant money to pay off debts owed to loan sharks, in exchange for a percentage of the informant’s business.

British police to target illegal gamblers during London 2012

The risk posed by foreign betting syndicates is making UK’s Olympic chiefs put together a special unit to help prevent illegal gambling syndicates from bribing athletes at the 2012 Summer Games. According to Sky News, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson described foreign betting syndicates as a threat capable of soiling the reputation of London 2012 Olympics more than doping.  “That comes from illegal gambling syndicates in the Far East and on the Indian subcontinent that comes from the evidence of what we have already seen happening in this country with the incident at Lord’s 18 months ago, ” Mr. Robertson told Sky News. “There are the conditions there in the Olympics for this to thrive.” To check the activities of the gamblers, officers from the Metropolitan Police, Interpol and the Serious Organised Crime Agency are to make up the unit that will identify spot-fixers and stop them from approaching athletes. They will also monitor betting patterns for any signs of suspicious activity.

 Woman, 70, sentenced in mail fraud case

A federal judge Tuesday sentenced a 70-year-old woman with a million-dollar gambling addiction to 28 months in prison after questioning whether federal authorities could go after the gaming companies for restitution. U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy of East St. Louis sentenced Flora Buckingham of Granite City to prison and to pay $921,000 in restitution, but the judge noted there is little chance the defendant ever will be able to repay the money she stole from her employer. Buckingham pleaded guilty in September to federal mail fraud charges for stealing the money from her employer, Ahmad and Rana Pediatrics of Granite City.

Gambling habit blamed for $140K fraud at TCU Place

A former executive of TCU Place, Saskatoon’s Arts and Convention Centre, says he gambled away $140,000 he took from his employer and family. Brad Hache was in court Wednesday for sentencing related to his fraud conviction. “I’ve brought financial hardship to everyone and I wish I could take it all back,” Hache said in court. Hache was the manager of food and beverage services at TCU Place. He had been working at the venue five years and resigned at the end of November, 2010. He was arrested and charged in July of 2011. Court heard that $143,000 was taken in a four-week period just prior to his resignation.

Retired Guard colonel accused of stealing from charities

A retired colonel with the Arizona National Guard was charged with stealing more than $2 million from a charitable fund for guardsmen in a multi-count indictment released this week. Prosecutors with Attorney General Tom Horne’s office claim that retired Col. James Eugene Burns used the stolen money to support a gambling habit. A Maricopa County grand jury handed up the eight count indictment in October charging Burns with fraud, theft and forgery during a 4-year period from 2007 through 2011 during which time prosecutors claim Burns siphoned cash out of several charitable accounts and put it toward gambling debts.

“This is one of the most disturbing alleged abuses of a financial trust as I have ever seen,” Horne said in a statement. “This money was meant to assist needy service men and women and their families, and Mr. Burns is alleged to have instead used it to satisfy his personal gambling debts. My office will pursue this case vigorously to ensure that justice is served.”

Former Miami Cop Vernell Reynolds Indicted for Embezzling $200,000 from Police Charity

Vernell Reynolds is a whole different type of corrupt cop. She stands accused of not just embezzling $200,000, but from swiping that money from a charity set up by police officers which she oversaw. The U.S. Department of Justice announced her arrest and indictment today, and claims some of the money was withdrawn from the charity’s bank account at local casinos. Reynolds, a 17-year veteran of the force, served as president of the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association from 2005 until 2010. Back in March, Reynolds was arrested for stealing $7,000 from the group’s Step Up for Students scholarship fund. That money is supposed to provide scholarships for inner city youth.

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

Obama Administration Ruling Allows Online Gambling

Casino Watch Focus reported that several states have been attempting to legalize online gambling in their own jurisdiction.  Even though many states were attempting to legalize such intrastate gambling, it was generally understood that a long legal battle would develop.  The current online gambling landscape is largely governed by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UGEIA).  It regulates interstate and intrastate gambling at the financial level.  Given the almost impossible nature of regulating the internet, UGEIA looked to enforce the issue by going after the financial institutions where the gambling money would trade hands.

The basis for UGEIA is the 1961 Wire Act, which prohibits gambling over telecommunications systems.  This act effectively prohibited almost all online gambling, on both an inter and intrastate level.  Now, The Christian Science Monitor is explaining that a common Justice Department ruling on the Wire Act has been reversed by the Obama Administration, allowing for at least intrastate gambling and possibly even gambling between states:

Until now, the Justice Department had held that the Wire Act makes even intrastate online gambling illegal. Its new interpretation, written by Justice Department attorneys in response to requests for clarification from New York and Illinois, concluded that the law instead specifically outlaws such wagering on sports, not nonsports gambling within states or even across state borders.

“The ordinary meaning of the phrase ‘sporting event or contest’ does not encompass lotteries,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz. “Accordingly, we conclude that the proposed lotteries are not within the prohibitions of the Wire Act.”

“The United States Department of Justice has given the online gaming community a big, big present,” writes I. Nelson Rose, a Whittier Law School professor who blogs at “My bet is that … Congress will continue to do nothing, while Internet gambling explodes across the nation, made legal under state laws.”

While the Justice Department ruling does not specifically address interstate gambling, legal experts say it’s likely to be allowed, at least between states that specifically regulate online gambling.

There are a multitude of concerns with the actions of the Obama Administration’s new ruling.  In an Op-Ed piece by the Christian Science Monitor, they argue that such actions amount to a tax on the poor and that the regulation issues will be too severe to offer anything other than potential harms to children and families:

[B]ig doubts remain over whether states can indeed restrain such digital games of chance to residents while also keeping children from playing them. State lotteries, for examples, have a poor record of preventing retailers from selling tickets to minors.

And even if states can outsmart tech-savvy teens or out-of-state gamblers, once enough states jump into Internet gambling they will likely be able to work together and create a national scheme for such activity. That would violate the spirit if not the letter of a 2006 federal law banning such interstate activity.

Most of all, bringing Internet gambling to America would hurt the poor, who are most affected when people lose money in government-approved games of chance such as state lotteries or casinos – not to mention the way it would reinforce a belief that one’s future depends on “luck” instead of individual merit.

In effect, President Obama and his appointed Justice officials have bowed to political pressure from states that seek a new source of revenue in Internet gambling rather than taking the difficult decisions to raise taxes or cut spending.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 12/26 – 01/01

Gambling leads family to commit suicide

In a grisly incident, five members of a family attempted suicide by consuming rat poison at their house in Kamareddy on Friday. While two kids died, other three family members are in a critical condition. According to police, Ramagiri Raju who was living with his wife and three children was addicted to gambling. In the process, he kept borrowing money to win bets and ended up in a sea of debts. His friends, who were sympathetic towards him, gave him some money to clear his debts. However, his happiness did not last long as they began harassing Raju and his family members. On Friday, Raju’s friends allegedly abused his wife. In the meantime, Raju along with his wife Sangeetha, two daughters and a son consumed rat poison.

First Black Friday Poker Executive Pleads Guilty

The 31 year old co-founder of Absolute Poker, Brent Beckley has become the first online poker executive among the eleven who were indicted in April this year in the United States, to plead guilty to charges brought against him.  Beckley reportedly reached a plea deal with the US Department of Justice, which could see him sitting behind bars for up to a year and a half on charges relating to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, as well as breaking online gambling laws in the US.

A hearing in Manhattan earlier this week saw Beckley admitting that he knew what he was doing was wrong, and he was aware that he was breaking online gambling laws relating to the poker industry.  He said that he had received credit card payments from real money US poker players who sought to play poker at Absolute Poker, and he admitted to alternating records so that the money he received appeared to be earmarked for other purposes.

 Damian Karlik sentenced to six life sentences for murdering ex-boss’ family

The Petah Tikva District Court sentenced Damian Karlik to six life sentences on Tuesday after he was convicted of murdering six members of the Osherenko family in Rishon Letzion two years ago. In 2009, 32-year-old Dmitry Osherenko, his 28-year-old wife Tatiana, and their children Revital, 3, and Netanel, aged four months, were found dead in their Rishon Letzion apartment along with grandparents, Edward and Ludmilla, both 56. Five of the six victims had sustained stab wounds. Last month, the Petah Tikva District Court convicted Karlik of murdering the Osherenko family. Karlik was also convicted of conspiracy to murder, theft, and arson.   Karlik, whom the police say is a compulsive gambler, spent huge amounts of money at gambling venues and allegedly began to plan his revenge on Osherenko four months before the murder took place with his wife Natalya, who was convicted of manslaughter and was sentenced to 13 years in prison in a plea bargain.     

Police link alleged embezzlement, casino

A Conway Township man turned himself in Tuesday to face charges he embezzled from his employer more than $700,000, some of which authorities allege he spent on gambling at the MGM Grand Detroit casino. Ralph Edward Staelgraeve, 45, the former director of Michigan operations for Pasta Per Trio Inc., which operated out of Staelgraeve’s home on Sober Road, was arraigned Tuesday. He is free on a $100,000 personal bond and returns to District Court on Jan. 3 for an exam conference before Judge Carol Sue Reader. Former MGM host Lee Sadek, 37, of West Bloomfield also faces the same charge. He is free on a $100,000 bond, and he returns to District Court today for an exam conference. The investigation led by Sgt. Gary Childers of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department began in December 2009, when an employee of the Wisconsin-based Pasta Per Trio contacted the department regarding the misuse of funds. Company officials believe Staelgraeve stole nearly $1 million, but they can only prove he stole more than $700,000, Childers said.

Marina Bay Sands Sues High-rollers For $5.78 Million

The Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore is suing five of the casino’s exclusive Paiza Cub members for S$7.5 million (US$5.78 million) over alleged outstanding gambling debts. The case has been filed in the High Court, against the five high-rollers consisting of two Malaysians, a Chinese man, an Indonesian and a Japanese man. Takami Shinichi from Japan, who is based in Singapore, allegedly owes S$2 million, Chinese national Zhang Dechun owes s$1.94 million, Indonesian Husni Muchtar owes s$920,500, while Malaysia’s Por Boon Chuan and Chock Kok Sui owe s$518,436 and s$1.9 million respectively. According to The Straits Times (ST) news report, the premium players’ banks failed to honour the credit guarantee cheques, which were signed by the men.

Fugitive who reputedly ran mob gambling operation in Costa Rica returns to NJ to face charges

A fugitive who allegedly helped run a mob-influenced gambling operation in Costa Rica is back in New Jersey.State Attorney General Paula Dow says Frank Cetta was arrested in Costa Rica on Dec. 5. He’s being held in New Jersey on $350,000 bail and will be arraigned next week. It’s not known if he’s retained a lawyer. Cetta was indicted in May 2010, along with nearly three dozen others, for allegedly running an illegal gambling operation that processed more than $2 billion in wagers over a 15-month period. Cetta allegedly supervised a wire room in Costa Rica where bets were processed. Also indicted was Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., whose father, Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, is serving a life term for running the Philadelphia-Atlantic City mob in the 1980s.

 Pair who embezzled $900,000 from disabled vets get 3 years in prison

A former federal employee and a financial appointee who conspired to embezzle nearly $900,000 from disabled military veterans’ accounts have been sentenced to three years in federal prison. Jack Perry, 75, and Robert Tabbutt, 67, both of Memphis, diverted the money from 10 accounts and spent it on personal bills and gambling at Tunica casinos, authorities said. Perry was appointed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to manage financial affairs of the beneficiaries, while Tabbutt was a VA Field Examiner whose job was to review the performances of appointed fiduciaries in Tennessee, including Perry. The two men conspired to divert money from the accounts for their personal use, authorities said. The total amount taken in the scheme between July 1999 and October of 2008 was $896,239.43, records show.

Man ends life after wife refuses money

Upset over wife’s refusal to give money for gambling, a middle aged man poured kerosene on himself and committed  suicide in the city. The incident took place at  Indira Sahayata Nagar under the Gautam Nagar police station. The police said deceased  Rashid Khan, 30, was a scrap dealer. The two would often fight over his habit of gambling. on December 25, when Rashid lost Rs 1,000 in gambling, he returned home and asked his wife  Mobina to give him money to recover losses. However, Mobina refused to give him money and it led to an argument between the two. The two went to sleep.  After getting up in the morning, Rashid got into scrape with his wife for money. He asked her to leave the house when Mobina expressed helplessness to give him money, the police said. He then closed the door poured kerosene and set hemself on fire.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 12/19 – 12/25

At sentencing, Choi apologizes for slaying three in a Tenafly home

Kang Hyuk-Choi, 36, was sentenced in Bergen County Superior Court on Dec. 14 to three terms of life imprisonment, running concurrently, for the murders of three people in Tenafly.The murders took place in May of 2008 after Choi felt that he was wronged by his partner in a credit card business. He pled guilty to the charges and allegations that he fatally stabbed his former business partner and two of the man’s family members. “We have three individuals who no longer walk the earth,” said Judge Donald Venezia. “You brought havoc to three individuals and to a community. Anything less than a life sentence and I’d be condoning what you did. There’s no way you’re getting a break. You did not give Mr. [Han Il] Kim a break.” Before being sentenced, Choi apologized via his Korean translator. “I’m very sorry to the victims and their families,” he said. “I’m sorry to my own family.” Choi’s attorney, Frank Meehan, said his client had a gambling addiction, which led him to not only seek out the original business partner, Kim, but also to flee to a casino in California after killing Kim’s mother and uncle.

Stuart man, 78, charged with fraud in $7 million Ponzi scheme

Stuart man is facing fraud charges after being accused of swindling two dozen people in a $7 million Ponzi scheme regarding the sale of airplane parts, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement news release. Brown and Green allegedly told investors that they had committed buyers for high-demand aircraft parts. The duo then presold the parts before the investors signed the investment contracts, with investors told they would receive a return of up to 18 percent on their investment within six months.  However, Green and Brown did not buy or own the aircraft parts they were offering to sell. A few aircraft parts they did obtain were used to get more money from more people, the release states. Green and Brown are accused of spending the money on personal items such as gambling and expensive cars, the release states.

Former property manager admits embezzling more than $400,000 from central NJ condo association

The former property manager for a central New Jersey condominium complex has admitted embezzling more than $400,000 from its homeowners association. Sixty-year-old Theresa Tierney faces up to seven years in prison when she’s sentenced in April 2012. The Ocean Township resident also will have to make full restitution to the Strickland Farms complex in Howell.  Her lawyer, Charles Moriarty, tells the Asbury Park Press that his client has a gambling addiction and is now receiving treatment.

How rug was pulled from under mafia’s carpet fitter

An Israeli mafia boss known only as “Mr Itzig” recruited a carpet fitter to help plan burglaries for him. Father-of-three Joseph Schloss did as Mr Itzig and his gang said in the hope  that they would give him enough money to pay off his gambling debts.  But he came unstuck when he arranged a robbery at the home of a Jewish charity director. Schloss, 30, acted as a “facilitator” for Mr Itzig’s shadowy gang to break into the home of Danny Shine and his wife Michelle Barnett, director of Gift, a charity which encourages young Jews to do volunteering work. But Schloss was under pressure to repay at least £30,000 that he owed the gang and in September he stole the keys to the Shine family home while taking carpet measurements for them in Hendon, north west London. The next day, burglars stole thousands of pounds of cash and jewellery. Schloss was jailed for 16 months at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday.  The court heard how the true extent of his addiction and debts unravelled after he admitted his role in the crime.

Manager stole $200K from York orchestra

Authorities now say a former office manager for a central Pennsylvania orchestra stole more than $200,000, in part to support a gambling addiction. York Police charged 55-year-old Phyllis Ann Shoff with stealing nearly $150,000 from the York Symphony Orchestra last week. That’s on top of about $58,000 she’d already been charged with taking. Orchestra officials say they noticed the money was missing in June. Police say their investigation revealed the thefts started in 2004. Investigators say Shoff wrote herself checks, largely under an alias. She also allegedly wrote checks out to a former orchestra musician but cashed them herself.

300,000 bets of addict thief

A gambling addict carried out 300,000 transactions on a betting website in two years, a court has heard. Jin Song Zhao (33) of Beresford House, Custom House Square, Dublin pleaded  guilty to 14 counts of stealing a total of €36,800 from a family run Centra  shop at Pearse Street, Dublin between November 2009 and June 2011. Zhao was the manager of the Centra shop and pocketed money from customers to  pay for his betting addiction.  Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced Zhao to four years imprisonment with the last  three suspended and ordered that Zhao then leave the country for 10 years.

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