Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Brief Look at Crime 06/18 – 6/24

Moshe Butler Sentenced To More Than 5 Years For $2.5 Million Frauds

Moshe Butler, the 33-year-old son of former OU executive vice president Rabbi Raphael Butler (the elder Butler was the chief enabler of notorious child abuser Rabbi Baruch Lanner) was sentenced yesterday to more than five years in federal prison for a series of frauds amounting to almost $2.5 million. Butler pleaded guilty in April to defrauding Morgan Stanley Smith Barney out of $37,417, and to defrauding two individuals, identified by prosecutors by the initials D.B. and C.W., out of $107,755 in cash and legal fees by writing them bad checks. Butler committed those crimes while on bail awaiting trial for a different, $2.25 million fraud. Butler’s own gambling addiction allegedly pushed him to steal.

Large-Scale Cockfighting Ring Busted

Authorities in Visalia busted a large scale cockfighting ring on Wednesday. Some of the rescued birds were brought to an animal sanctuary in San Joaquin County. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the raid was one of the largest busts of its kind in U.S. history. More than 1,100 cockfighting knives were seized, along with 388 birds. The Tulare County Sheriff’s department arrested Juan Carlos Gonzalez and his wife, Leticia Aguilar Gonzalez charging them with multiple counts relating to cockfighting. Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states. Authorities say not only is it cruel to the birds, but it also tends to be a magnet for other criminal activities such as drug use and the gambling that typically accompanies the fights.

Pathological gambler stole $810,000

A WOMAN who stole $810,000 from her employers knew she would likely be caught but was driven by her uncontrollable urge to gamble, a court has heard. Leanne Michelle Scott, 42, of Old Reynella, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court again yesterday. She had previously pleaded guilty to 41 charges of theft. The court heard Scott was a pathological gambler who had suffered depression for the past decade and prior rehabilitation efforts were unsuccessful.  Scott admitted stealing from Newmont Mining Services and Accolade Wines, the total being about $810,000.

 Victim in Little Italy shooting had ‘big’ gambling debts

His neighbours describe him as a friendly family man, but the victim of the brazen shooting outside a Little Italy ice-cream shop had a gambling habit and big debts, a police source said. John Raposo, 35, was known as a “big shooter” in the gambling world, said the source, who is familiar with his history. “He bet big and lost big,” the source said. Mr. Raposo had recently placed wild bets on sports games with major underworld gambling operations and owed a significant amount of money, he said. Many of the city’s illicit gambling operations have ties to powerful figures in the local Mafia. Mr. Raposo was shot dead while watching a soccer match on the patio of the Sicilian Sidewalk Café on Monday afternoon. Another man was wounded and is expected to recover. The gunman disguised himself as a construction worker before opening fire, shooting Mr. Raposo in the head, and fleeing the scene.

 Jury convicts Ind. financier in $200M fraud scheme

An Indianapolis businessman accused of looting an Ohio-based finance company after buying it and bilking about 5,000 mostly elderly investors out of more than $200 million was convicted Wednesday on all counts. A federal jury found Tim Durham guilty of securities fraud, conspiracy and 10 counts of wire fraud. His business partners, James F. Cochran and accountant Rick D. Snow, also were convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud, and some wire fraud counts. When sentenced, the men could face decades in prison. Durham’s defense attorney had argued that the men simply made bad business decisions in the midst of the bewildering economic crisis of 2008. But prosecutors alleged that Durham and his partners pillaged Fair Finance to enrich themselves and their friends – buying classic cars, houses and casino trips – and to help Durham’s other struggling businesses.    

 Keller man indicted on capital murder charge in Plano stabbing

Collin County grand jury on Tuesday indicted a Keller man with a gambling addiction on a charge of capital murder. Peter Phuc Hong Tran, 27, is accused of killing Ethan Nguyen, 33, on Feb. 19. Nguyen was found stabbed to death in the home he shares with his mother in the 2400 block of Frosted Green Lane near Custer and McDermott roads in Plano. According to the probable cause affidavit, Plano police found surveillance camera video showing Tran and Nguyen had been shopping together that day in Frisco. Tran told police that Nguyen had about $10,000 with him when they were shopping. That money has not been found.

Teens ‘killed granny for IPL bets

TWO Indian teens have been accused of killing their grandmother and taking her money to gamble on cricket games. The boys, aged 14 and 15, were among a gang of five held by police for the alleged murder of 65-year-old Linda Cajetan Andrade, who was found naked in her home last month. The group are suspected of stealing 400,000 rupees ($7000) and some gold ornaments from her home in the south of the holiday state of Goa. “These boys wanted money to bet on the Indian Premier League and the (soccer) Euro cup,” police superintendent Arvind Gawas said, adding that the cash was used for betting but that it was unclear how much was gambled. “After the murder and robbery they sold all the gold and distributed the money amongst themselves,” he said. “They betted during the IPL and continued during the Euro cup.” The five accused were picked up from different locations after one of them confessed to the crime, Supt Gawas said.

Former bank manager pleads guilty to embezzlement

A former bank manager pleaded guilty Friday to embezzling money from banking customers to feed a gambling habit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Sheila Marie Wright, 52, agreed to pay $429,030 in restitution after entering a guilty plea to one count of obtaining monies under the custody and control of financial institutions by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. Wright, of Lynchburg, waived her right to be indicted at Friday’s hearing in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Wright was a branch manager for the Bank of the James in Lynchburg from October 2000 to April 2009, Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Waering said in the release.

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

As New States Join the Sports Betting Fold, Concerns for Crime, Addiction and Costs for Taxpayers

Casino Watch Focus has reported many times on sports gambling and the attempts states have made to legalize such betting.  An online source is reporting that Delaware has now passed legislation to expand sports betting to the internet as well as 20 other non-casino locations.  Illinois is also considering such expansion.  Illinois own, Professor John Kent explains the dangers to families if this trend extends:

John Warren Kindt, a professor of business and legal policy at the University of Illinois, has testified before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures regarding socioeconomic gambling issues. He is a senior editor and contributing author to the multi-volume 2009-2012 United States International Gambling Report

Legalizing sports gambling would obviously create new taxpayer costs for crime and would open the door to widespread Internet gambling. More subtly and most importantly, legalizing sports gambling would result in the creation of new Wall Street financials and catalyze a new speculative bubble similar to the 2008 debacle on credit default swaps. The financial “side-bets” of sports gambling need to be exposed as creating no product, having no real asset base, and “wearing no clothes.

The congressional bipartisan U.S. National Gambling Impact Study Commission highlighted that gambling scandals have historically accompanied collegiate, professional, and even Olympic sports. Noting that the U.S. Congress had been misled into allowing legalized sports gambling in four states (Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon), the U.S. Gambling Commission recommended “that the betting on collegiate and amateur athletic events that is currently legal be banned altogether.” Before, during, and after the U.S. Gambling Commission, this Recommendation 3.7 was actively supported by all of the U.S. professional and collegiate sports associations, which were concerned with the “integrity of sports,” the potential for systemic corruption, and organized crime. 

According to the medical, sociological, and psychiatric communities, gambling addiction parallels drug addiction. These medical similarities may be viewed in the 60 Minutes news expose, “Slot Machines: The Big Gamble.” Sports gambling is also known as the “gateway drug” to gambling addiction. At 4 percent to 6 percent of their demographic, young people are already showing double the gambling addiction rate of the older generations. Therefore, the U.S. Gambling Commission recommended extensive efforts to educate young people regarding the problematic nature of gambling (Rec. 3.13), and the commission recommended the continued criminalization of Internet gambling (Rec. 5.1).

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

A Brief Look at Crime 06/11 – 6/17

Boca man ordered to forfeit millions from illegal gambling operation

A federal judge has ordered the Boca Raton brother-in-law of U.S. Rep. John Tierney to fork over $7.7 million for his role in an illegal offshore sports betting ring based in the Caribbean. Daniel Eremian, 62, must forfeit the money because of his illicit work with Sports Offshore, the Antigua-based gambling website that operated in Florida, Massachussetts and South Carolina, wrote U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris in a ruling filed Monday. Eremian worked as an agent in Florida, collecting money from losing bettors and recruiting new bettors, according to court records. In December, he and another man were convicted in Massachussetts of racketeering and operating an illegal gambling business.

 Illegal Horse Racing in Arizona

One would think that running an illegal underground betting, or a dog or cockfighting ring, isn’t that hard to do as these activities take a small amount of space and are hard to detect. But, who would think of an illegal horse racing track? As the sports betting news report, an Arizona entrepreneur has ran an illegal horse racing track at his ranch, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. While races took place, bets on horses were taken just as it happens at legal tracks. While horse racing is America, unlike other sports betting is legal, only the best stables and jockeys make it into racing-for-money competitions. Sports betting involving animals is quite popular worldwide, take horse racing or dog fights. There is even pigeon racing where bets be placed.

 Anti-Mafia Prosecutor Sounds Alarm Over Soccer Betting

European soccer is at high risk from match-fixing mobsters seeking to “load the dice” in an illegal gambling business valued at $90 billion a year, Sicily’s chief anti-Mafia prosecutor said.  “The entire football business is at a high risk of infiltration by the Mafia,” Antonio Ingroia told Bloomberg Television in an interview in the Sicilian capital, Palermo. Italy’s mob has pressured Italian “clubs in ticket selling and gangs have been operating in the ticket-selling black market,” which is often “tolerated by football clubs.”  Ingroia’s comments come as the European Championship gets under way in Poland and Ukraine and after Italian prosecutors in the northern city of Cremona announced a match-rigging probe last month. The case, the latest in a series of illegal-betting scandals in Italy, led to the arrest of Stefano Mauri, captain of Serie A team Lazio, and a police visit to the national team’s practice site to question defender Domenico Criscito, who was later dropped from Italy’s Euro 2012 roster.

 41 Arrested In Lee Highway Gambling Raid

The Chattanooga Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit served a search warrant for illegal gambling on Lee Highway on Thursday night and made 41 arrests. The warrant was executed at 8:11 a.m. at 7510 Lee Highway, suites 7 & 8 (Poker Depot).  When officers entered the business, they found 41 people “engaged in illegal poker games” and all were arrested. Of those charged, 39 were issued misdemeanor citations and released, while two were transported to the Hamilton County Jail.  Items seized included cash, eight pills, 7.8 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, gambling paraphernalia, four poker tables, and a .22 caliber pistol with four bullets.

Police: Elderly neighbor bilked out of $300K

Police say a suburban Philadelphia woman stole more than $300,000 from a neighbor who asked her to handle her finances when she entered a nursing home because of brain damage and terminal cancer. Bensalem police say 65-year-old Virginia Marquardt used the money she took from a 67-year-old neighbor to pay for vacations, casino trips, country club memberships and other expenses. Authorities say the fraud was discovered after Marquardt failed to pay for the victim’s care, claiming her assets had run out. But officials became suspicious when her medical assistance applications were denied.

Gambling addict from Ellesmere Port stole £3.7m from employer

A GAMBLER defrauded £3.7m from his employer as his addiction spiralled out of control. Andrew Rafferty, 44, of Armthorpe Drive, Little Sutton, lived in a modest semi-detached house despite redirecting hundreds of thousands of pounds annually for eight years. On Friday his mother wept as he was jailed for seven years in Chester Crown Court by judge Elgan Edwards, the Recorder of Chester, who told him ‘gambling is the reason, it cannot be an excuse’. Rafferty turned to gambling after a 15-year relationship fell apart before embarking on an eight-year spree undetected by employer Faurecia, a global car parts supplier with a base in Ellesmere Port.

 China jails eight in football corruption crackdown

Former Chinese Football Association (CFA) head Nan Yong and his predecessor Xie Yalong were each given sentences of 10 years and six months for taking bribes, the official Xinhua news agency said. Nan took bribes worth 1.48 million yuan ($235,000) while Xie accepted 1.7 million yuan, it said. The sentences mark the culmination of a campaign to root out entrenched graft in the Chinese game that has ensnared dozens of CFA and club officials, referees and players accused of match-fixing, gambling and other crimes. The scandal — coupled with poor performances by the national team — have made football the laughing stock of Chinese fans and have undermined the popularity of the domestic game in the world’s most populous country.

 Former H.O.W. Foundation Director Charged with $1.3 Million Fraud

An addiction to gambling has led to the prosecution of a former substance-abuse recovery program director on a charge of defrauding the nonprofit corporation of more than $1.3 million, his attorney said Tuesday. Wesley Scott McGinness, 65, a former executive director of the H.O.W. Foundation, was charged with the fraud in Tulsa federal court Tuesday. He is accused of using checks drawn on the foundation’s bank accounts to pay personal credit card debts from Jan. 13, 2003, until Dec. 14, 2010. The foundation operates the H.O.W. Foundation Recovery Center for substance abuse at 5649 S. Garnett Road. The new executive director discovered the fraud, according to a civil suit filed in Jan. 28, 2011, in Tulsa County District Court.

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

Genting group fails again at a major gambling expansion

Casino Watch Focus has reported that Genting Group was one of the key companies leading the charge to get major destination casino resorts, that offer full scale Vegas-type gambling, legalized in Florida.  Those efforts failed during the legislative session, but they are still attempting to place the issue on the ballot, in hopes of orchestrating what will likely be a deceptive campaign to sway the voters. Not to be limited to one major market, Gentring turned their sites to New York.  They put together a $4 billion plan with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  An online source explained that an anti-gambling group immediately gone involved:

A coalition of anti-gambling advocates is hoping to derail the next step on the road to an expansion of casino gaming in New York — an effort that pits them against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature as well as a multibillion-dollar industry.

The Coalition Against Gambling in New York is made up predominantly of religious organizations running the gamut from conservative to progressive, as well as those concerned about gambling addiction. All present said the government was rushing into serving as little more than a enabler for an industry that preys on the poor and desperate.

“It’s the biggest something-for-nothing scheme ever invented,” said Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, referring to gaming corporations. “And the reason why they get away with it is because government is a partner to it.”

The Genting-Cuomo plan received various revisions in an effort to maximize support, but as the NY Times reports, the plan has fallen through:

A $4 billion plan announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to create the country’s largest convention center and a casino in Queens has fallen apart, the governor acknowledged on Friday.

Genting issued a statement saying that company officials “continue to want to invest in New York and plan to do so for years to come,” but that the uncertainty surrounding Mr. Cuomo’s efforts to push through a constitutional amendment to create a framework for casinos in the state made it difficult to reach a deal.      

 The breakdown of the Genting plan also highlights the challenges confronting gambling companies now: the industry has matured to such a degree, and casinos have so proliferated in the Northeast, that competitors are desperately seeking to take market share from one another or to block their entry altogether. Genting spent nearly $900,000 on lobbying and campaign donations in New York last year, according to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 06/04 – 6/10

3 Men Plead Guilty In Gambling Raid In Which Billups Was Shot

Three men involved in a high-stake poker game April 12 in which a man was shot after police raided the game pleaded guilty on Monday afternoon. A number of others caught in the sting passed their cases until later. In court Monday but passing their cases to July 9 were Kenneth Burton, Ramon Grant, Ralph Kennedy, Terry Hartman, Dale Roesel, Jr., Kevin England and William Ray Johnson. Police seized $26,393 in cash, 34 pills (unknown), 3.3 grams of marijuana, miscellaneous gambling paraphernalia, an HP laptop computer and three vehicles.

Teaneck man gets prison sentence in fraud schemes that netted $2.5M

A Teaneck man who struggles with a gambling addiction was sentenced Wednesday to more than five years in prison for orchestrating fraud schemes that bilked victims out of nearly $2.5 million. “You are nothing but a crook,” U.S. District Judge William H. Walls declared as he sentenced Moshe Butler, 33, during a hearing in federal court in Newark. “And as a crook, you should be punished so you feel the sting.” Walls told Butler that he deserved his punishment because he continued to commit crimes after he was first caught “selling phantom television sets” to eight hotel and motel development companies from Englewood Cliffs to New Mexico.

 School Can’t Recover Embezzled Funds

A New Orleans charter school cannot recover funds from a casino after an employee embezzled funds and gambled them away, a Louisiana appeals court ruled. NOLA 180 is a non-profit organization that runs Langston Hughes Academy Charter School. Its financial officer, Kelly Thompson, is in federal prison after being convicted of embezzling $667,000 from her employer.  The non-profit sued Jazz Casino Co. LLC, stating that it “substantially participated in and facilitated the gambling obsession of Thompson.”

Ex-finance chief of Short Hills hedge fund sentenced to prison for $10.4 million theft

The former chief financial officer of Columbus Hill Capital Management, a Short Hills-based investment management firm, was sentenced today to four-and-a-half years in federal prison for embezzling more than $10.4 million from his employer. David Newmark, 39, of Towaco, previously pleaded guilty to counts of wire fraud and tax evasion and faced a concurrent prison term of between 51 months and 60 months. The theft, which took place over several years, was to fuel Newmark’s long-time sports gambling addiction, said Newark’s attorney, Michael Himmel of Lowenstein Sandler.

Euro 2012 Betting Heats Up for Punters Worldwide

Bookies have been entertaining odds since before the first friendlies were held in late May on everything from outrights, golden boot hopefuls, final qualifiers, and more. While sports book betting is legal in several European and Scandinavian countries, along with isolated instances in the Americas and Asia, the practice remains illegal in much of the world. Authorities worldwide, especially in Asia have mobilized authorities to break up illegal gambling rings and thwart the expected rise in loan-shark activities. Scandal recently rocked the Italian team as 19 players and individuals were implicated in illegal betting and match-fixing activities. The list of those whose property and rooms were searched by police included Gianluigi Buffon, Stephano Mauri, Domenico Criscito, Juventus coach Antonio Conte, and several other top players. If it comes down to placing wagers on the Euro 2012 event, it should go without saying that betting should be confined to a legal setting. But for many who seek the thrill off putting money down on the matches, this is simply not an option.

 Woman kills self over bingo loss

A woman killed herself the other day following an argument with her live-in partner over the P20,000 she lost in a bingo game. She had shot herself in the head with a .38-cal. revolver. Beside her was a letter in which she asked her partner and their two children for forgiveness. This prompted Daria to go and get the victim himself. However, when she told him that she had lost the P20,000 they had set aside as payment for the rent and fish supplier, they had an argument. Daria said he returned home by himself. The victim, on the other hand, came home only on Tuesday morning and locked herself inside their room.

2 Arrested in Bulgarian Gambling Boss Murder

Two men have been arrested in the murder of gambling boss Yordan Dinov, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry reported Thursday. The police operation was conducted in the Dianabad district of the capital Sofia. Yordan Dinov, a 39-year-old alleged illegal bookmaker was shot dead in the very downtown of Sofia on April 4, 2012. After the murder, inspectors from the Gambling Commission have executed scores of probes of bookmaking facilities managed by Dinov’s company and have issued a large number of citations for violations. The Director of the Main Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime, GDBOP, Stanimir Florov, said at the time one of the motives was “serious money that was owed to Dinov.”

 Ava Marie Hamilton pleads guilty to embezzling $540,000 from Theros Restaurant Group

A woman who said she had a gambling addiction has pleaded guilty to embezzling $548,000 from Theros Restaurant Group, according to a report. Ava Marie Hamilton said in Hennepin County District Court Monday that she was stealing for more than three years from Theros, where she was employed as a bookkeeper, City Pages reported. She is scheduled to be sentenced June 6 and faces up to 68 months in prison.

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

Gambling Addiction being Reevaluated by Psychiatric Community

Casino Watch Focus has reported many times on the dangers of gambling addiction. Too often families are destroyed and business are crippled. Casino Watch Focus has also reported on numerous studies that look at gambling addition and its impact. It appears the Psychiatric community has taken note and they are seriously considering changing the way they define and deal with gambling addiction.  Florida State’s WSFU explains:

Can someone actually be hooked on a behavior, like gambling? Problem gambling isn’t considered a true addiction in medical circles. But that may change as psychiatrists revise the diagnostic manual that spells out criteria for more than a dozen varieties of mental disorders.

The proposed revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, would add “gambling disorder” to alcohol and drug problems as a “substance use and addictive disorder” that insurers and others would use to make decisions about treatment and coverage .

“Research and clinical work [indicate that] the underlying pathology and genetics of addiction involve not only substances but may also involve behavior,” says David J. Kupfer, chair of the DSM-5 task force overseeing revisions to the manual, which is produced by the American Psychiatric Association.  The proposed revisions, which are open for public comment, will be finalized and published in May 2013. We’re being very conservative about this,” Kupfer says.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 05/28 – 6/03

Trusted employee accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars to feed gambling addiction

Bette Wicker was a trusted employee, working for Rod Harris at his Sunoco Gas station in Westland for 23 years. But Wicker, 61, is now accused of ripping off tens of thousands of dollars to feed a gambling addiction. In a letter obtained by 7 Action News, Wicker wrote that she and a friend used the stolen money to “go to the casino and stay there till we lost it all.” Westland Police are handling the case and investigators say Wicker is expected to turn herself in next week to face one count of Embezzlement. Bette Wicker’s husband told 7 Action News that they are not prepared to comment on the case. “She was like family,” said Rod Harris about Wicker who would even babysit his children over the years. Harris has owned the Sunoco on the corner of Cherry Hill and Newburgh for nearly 30 years. He believes Wicker has been stealing from his small gas station and repair shop for years. In late 2011, Harris began taking a close look at invoices and cash flow. He believes Wicker’s alleged actions may have put his small business about $250,000 in the hole.

Alleged internet gambling ring busted

Federal law enforcement officers and a special unit of the Bayonne Police began operations in the early morning hours of May 15, gearing up for a series of raids that would result in the arrest of 14 people in a dramatic conclusion to an investigation started in Bayonne in 2004. Some of the vehicles contained local police, part of a special organized crimes unit set up by Police Chief Robert Kubert in 2004 to look into alleged illegal gambling and mid-level narcotics trafficking believed to be going on in the city. Others were members of the FBI, who began working with local police once the investigation began to stretch beyond the borders of Bayonne. Agents with FBI in large letters on their backs watched the street and waited for the command that would set them into action – part of a coordinated operation involving several towns.

According to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, the Genovese crime family of La Cosa Nostra operates out of smaller groups, sometimes referred to as “crews,” that work throughout northern New Jersey and elsewhere. Each crew was headed by a “captain,” “capo,” or “skipper.” Each captain’s crew consisted of “soldiers” and “associates.” The captain was responsible for supervising the criminal activities of his crew and providing the crew with support and protection. In return, the captain often received a share of the crew’s earnings. Twelve alleged members and associates of the LaScala crew were charged on May 23 in connection with an illegal, on-line gambling operation, Fishman said, and all but one were charged with racketeering conspiracy. Today’s arrests serve as a stark reminder that traditional organized crime continues to operate in New Jersey,” said Michael B. Ward.

Payday loan debts killed our son, 18

THE devastated parents of a teenager who committed suicide have said the 18-year-old took his life because of the spiralling debts he owed payday loan companies. Now Geoff and Dawn Scott are calling for a cap on sky-high interest rates charged by lenders such as Wonga. Bright IT apprentice Oliver — known as Ollie to his mates — committed suicide in September, seven months after admitting to his family he had become addicted to gambling at bingo halls. To fund his habit, Ollie used his smartphone to access a series of quick-fix loans — some with interest as high as 4,214 per cent — with the money in his account in less than 30 minutes.

Company director embezzled £85,000 wage rise to fund gambling habit

Brian Cappie was jailed for 16 months for pocketing the extra cash while working for Martec Engineering Group in Cambuslang, Glasgow. The 51-year-old former operations and finance director’s crime came to light when auditors were called into the steel firm. Cappie, of Rothesay Crescent, Coatbridge, in North Lanarkshire, previously pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to embezzling the money between September 1, 2007, and September 30, 2008. Procurator fiscal Laura Greer previously told the court Cappie was employed by the firm in September 2005. She said: “He increased his salary without authorisation and did so between the relevant dates. Auditors were brought in and following investigations it was discovered what the accused had been doing. “Thereafter the police were contacted and the accused made full admissions to auditors and the police.” The court also heard Cappie had a gambling addiction which was an “escape” from the depression he suffers.

Loan sharks get more violent

Loan sharks are becoming increasingly violent, with some setting cars on fire and throwing petrol bombs into the homes of defaulting borrowers. “While they are doing this to harass the borrowers, they are also putting the lives of others in danger,” said MCA Public Services and Complaint Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong. Most of the victims had borrowed the money for gambling while others had taken loans to start businesses, he said. He said it was worrying that many students had also begun taking loans from loan sharks to feed their online gambling habit. “The loan sharks are not to blame entirely as many of them are victims’ as well. “Some people take loans saying they need to start businesses but use the money to gamble instead and then are unable pay back what they owe,” he said.

 NCUA Bans Fired Gambler Over $146,583 Theft From SELCO

The NCUA has issued a ban against a former employee of the $1 billion SELCO Community Credit Union in Eugene, Ore., after she was convicted of stealing $146,583 from the institution over a period of eight years to feed her gambling addiction. Lenora Jane Colburn, a former supervisor and assistant manager of two Eugene branches until she was fired in May 2011, was sentenced to a prison term, five years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution, the NCUA said in a statement on Thursday. She had been employed at the credit union for 24 years and used her position to conceal the thefts by creating bogus cash transactions, rigging internal audits and manipulating balances in cash drawers and vaults, the newspaper said.

 Postal union treasurer says gambling habit forced him to steal $80K in union funds

The treasurer of the Honolulu branch of the letter carriers union pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to embezzling more than $80,000 from the union to feed his gambling habit. David M. Ing, 46, has been the treasurer of branch 860 of the National Association of Letter Carriers for about 14 years. He works as a mailman out of a Sand Island postal facility.  He appeared in federal court Thursday afternoon to plead guilty to stealing $83,293 in union funds.  “Because of a gambling problem, I forged checks and stole money from the union treasury,” Ing told Federal Judge Kevin Chang. According to a federal charging document filed Friday afternoon, Ing stole the union funds from January through December of 2011. 

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

Guest Article: Florida Internet Cafes lead to violence and need to be banned

Casino Watch Focus has reported on several actions being lead by the group  Now they have issued a release regarding the legally controversial Internet Cafes that have been affecting Florida families:


Friday, May 25, 2012


CONTACT: John Sowinski

(407) 608-5930

Violence at Internet Café is Out of Hand: Brutal Crime is Another Reason Leaders Should Enact Ban

(Deltona) – Media accounts detailing a brutal bludgeoning-by-hammer at a Deltona “internet café” should be a wake-up call for city and state leaders to shut these seedy establishments down.  Separate news accounts reveal that the video surveillance system at EZ Play Internet cafe in Deltona turned off just before a man was severely beaten inside the business. Two EZ Play managers were arrested on charges including aggravated battery causing bodily harm/disability with a deadly weapon.

New so-called “internet cafés” which skirt state gambling laws by describing their activity as “sweepstakes” rather than “gambling” are banned in Deltona but those like EZ Play that were open prior to the ban are still allowed to operate. Meanwhile, according to one media account, there have been 30 calls over the past year for law enforcement services related to EZ Play alone.

“Anybody who doubts the connection between gambling and crime needs to do nothing more than read these chilling news stories to learn that gambling causes crime”, said John Sowinski President of No Casinos.  “It is time for Deltona, other communities and the Florida Legislature to shutter the doors of these legally dubious enterprises – it is clear that Deltona taxpayers are having to subsidize the cost of law enforcement, addiction and serious injuries that are caused by this industry.”

In March the Deltona City Commission expressed concerns the sweepstakes businesses are problematic and “could lead to illegal activities.”  So, The City Commission voted unanimously to extend a six-month moratorium against the establishment of new Internet cafes. They are considering an ordinance that would include an out-and-out ban of new Internet cafes but needed more time to tweak the language.

“Now is the time for Deltona and the entire state of Florida to stop allowing those who skirt the law to profit from their brazenness and the crime and addiction that these establishments cause,” said Sowinski.

The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill to shut down internet cafés during this year’s Legislative Session, but that bill was thwarted by gambling supporters in the Florida Senate.

See recent news coverage of this story:

WFTV: Two arrested in connection with bloody Deltona strip mall casino beating

Daytona Beach News-Journal: 2 managers at Deltona Internet cafe charged with beating man


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