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.

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