A Brief Look at Crime 7/30 -8/05

Suit blames Miss. casino for gambler’s death after drinking

A $75 million lawsuit accuses a Mississippi casino of causing the death of a pain-pill-taking gambler by plying him with too many free drinks, the Associated Press reports. Bryan Lee Glenn, 30, died in August 2009 in his room at the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi.  Glenn was taking several painkillers, including Percocet and morphine, along with antipsychotic medications. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in a four-wheeler accident in 2004, lost everything in Hurricane Katrina a year later and then injured his back in a 2007 car accident. The suit also claims he had attempted suicide days before he died.

 Former Coventry charity boss stole £120,000 of funds for blind

A FORMER charity boss has admitted stealing more than £120,000 of funds meant to help blind and partially sighted people in Coventry. Tyrone Pooley illegally siphoned off funds from his charity, based in Cheylesmore, and used the money to feed his gambling addiction, a court has heard. The 59-year-old first stole £60,000 from the Fund for the Blind and Partially Sighted in 2006, when he was a trustee of the charity. He then lied to the Charity Commission after failing to transfer the cash to the designated account in December 2008, and stole a further £61,422.39 in 2009, Coventry Crown Court was told. Tyrone, who lived in Coventry at the time but has since moved to Whiteladies Road, Bristol, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and providing false and misleading information to the Charity Commission regarding the charity’s accounts.

 John Milton Merritt Allegedly Stole $300,000 From Four Orphan Girls

Last Friday, Attorney John Milton Merritt plead guilty to 12 counts of using forged court orders to defraud clients, Oklahoma News 9 reports. Among those affected by the scheme were four orphaned girls whose parents were killed in a 2002 car crash and a boy injured in a 2005 car accident, NewsOK is reporting. In total, Mr. Merritt stole just under $450,000 from the children and $1.7 million in total. He reportedly could face more than 30 years in prison. Prosecutors appear unmoved by the claim that Merritt always intended to pay back his clients but was prevented from doing so by the federal investigation. Merritt is being forced to forfeit over $700,000, Court House News is reporting . Prosecutors intend to seek full financial restitution. Sadly, Merritt is not the only person who tried to live off the money of orphaned children. Last year, James Hoots plead guilty to stealing $170,000 from six orphans in order to finance his gambling addiction, the National Council of Problem Gambling reports.

 PokerStars Will Pay $547 Million To Settle U.S. Government Charges and Buy Full Tilt Poker

PokerStars, the world’s biggest online poker company, has agreed to pay $547 million to settle the U.S. government’s civil charges that the company used fraudulent methods to process payments and evade U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling. Under the agreement, PokerStars, based in the Isle of Man, will also purchase Full Tilt Poker, a formal rival which collapsed following the U.S. government’s move in April 2011 to shut down the U.S. operations of the major online poker operators. The deal calls for PokerStars to make $184 million available to reimburse U.S. customers of Full Tilt within 90 days that had money on deposit at the company.

 Ireland Olympic squad rocked by betting scandal claims

Ireland’s bid for Olympic gold has been derailed, before it has even started, by claims of a betting scandal involving a member of Team Ireland. Speaking to the Irish Independent, Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, confirmed that he received an allegation concerning one of the competitors due to compete at the London Games, which opened last night in spectacular circumstances. Hickey revealed that he is currently seeking legal advice on the matter and that the alleged competitor was also been informed of the investigation. The Olympic Council of Ireland subsequently received a detailed letter from the competitor’s solicitor on Thursday and a full investigation is now under way with the competitor believed to have made two bets backing an opponent to win an event in which they themselves were directly competing. This practice is prohibited by The International Olympic Committee and earlier this month IOC chief Jacques Rogge confirmed the IOC’s stance saying “the fight against doping and illegal gambling remain the absolute priority of the IOC”.

 Maine Man Admits $900,000 Theft From Nonprofit He Led

The former longtime head of a charity serving low-income Maine residents pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling $900,000 from the organization to cover mortgage payments, gambling debts, and other personal expenses, reports The Portland Press Herald. Thomas Nelson served as executive director of York County Community Action Corp. in Sanford, Me., for 21 years before stepping down in February 2010. Prosecutors said in court filings that beginning in 2004, Mr. Nelson diverted charity funds to another, now-defunct nonprofit for which he was treasurer and arranged overpayments to a consulting firm that gave him kickbacks. Mr. Nelson pleaded guilty to counts of embezzlement, conspiracy, tax evasion, and signing a false tax return. Under the plea agreement he will pay $1.2-million in restitution to the York County charity and $150,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.

 Man found guilty in murder of St. Charles County insurance agent

A man who police linked through DNA evidence to the 2007 slaying of a St. Charles insurance agent has been found guilty of first-degree murder and robbery. Jurors deliberated for 2 1/2 hours Thursday before finding Paul C. White, 35, a former St. Charles resident, guilty in the killing of Robert Eidman. Eidman, 48, was shot with a 9 mm pistol three times on June 8, 2007. The case went unsolved for more than three years until DNA found on the inside of Eidman’s rear pocket — where he kept his wallet — matched up with White’s DNA and broke the case. During the three-day trial, assistant prosecutors Laura Whitlow and Phil Groenweghe laid out a case that was part CSI, part theater, with testimony from a series of forensics experts as well as White’s play-by-play of the robbery and murder while on the stand. White testified that he and his roommate, Cleo S. Hines, had decided to rob someone that day because White was broke after gambling away $1,200 on craps and blackjack the night before. White said that he went to Walmart the morning of June 8 to rob someone cashing a paycheck, but he changed his mind after seeing the sea of the surveillance cameras. He testified that he remembered his wife’s car insurance agent took cash payments, so he and Hines decided to rob Eidman instead.

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