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

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