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.

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

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