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

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