A Brief Look at Crime 9/17 – 9/23

Las Vegas Sands hid evidence in former executive’s lawsuit: court

Las Vegas Sands  deceived a Nevada court in an attempt to stall a lawsuit by the former head of its Macau operations, a state judge ruled on Friday, fining the casino operator and abridging its right to object in a fight over key evidence. The ruling gives former Sands China  Chief Executive Steve Jacobs new room to pursue his wrongful termination case, which has become a public fight over the leadership and business methods used by Sands Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is a prominent Republican Party donor, as well as one of the richest men in the world, who led U.S. casinos into Macau, a gambling market which dwarfs Las Vegas. Jacobs contends Adelson directed him to investigate officials in the Chinese gambling haven for information to use against them and that Adelson told him to hire a Macau government official in a potential conflict of U.S. anti-bribery law. The U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and Nevada casino regulators have all launched investigations in the wake of Jacobs’ charges.

 2 Devils Diciples motorcycle gang members charged in homicide

Two members of a well-known motorcycle gang that has regional chapters in several states, including Alabama, are suspected of killing a fellow member in the Rosinton community, northeast of Robertsdale. Devils Diciples gang members Adam “Sandman” Mayton, 30, of Newbern and Fred “Shooter” Weiss, age unavailable, of Northport are charged with murder in the death of Samuel Dixson, 54, of Milton, Fla., the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday. The mobile home was a meeting place for the gang, which is known for participating in criminal activity, Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack said. Gang members are required to own Harley-Davidson motorcycles and go by a club name or nickname to conceal their identities, according to the FBI. The gang has been known to participate in crimes, including drug sales, thefts, selling stolen motorcycles, conducting illegal gambling businesses, robbery, extortion and violence.

NY man sentenced to 6 years for investment fraud

A western New York man has been sentenced to six years in prison for advertising and selling businesses online that didn’t exist. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo says James Rotterman also must pay back $4.5 million as part of a sentence handed down Friday. Prosecutors say the suburban Buffalo man convinced hundreds of investors to send him millions of dollars by advertising on an internet site. Investigators say he’d advertise non-existent merchant portfolio accounts which were to provide a cash flow to the investor, then supply victims with false profit and bank statements. Prosecutors have said he used some of the money to pay off large gambling debts.

 Union boss embezzled union funds for gambling

Ernest Milewski, the Wilkes-Barre union official who earlier this year pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds and the assets of a health care benefit program, used his sentencing hearing to come clean on the reason why he stole the money—to pay for an out-of-control gambling habit. Milewski was sentenced last month to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling more than a quarter-million dollars from the Northeast District Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers and its health plan. Milewski was president of the union and a trustee of its health and welfare benefit fund. Prosecutors alleged that the dual positions made it easier for Milewski to divert money to himself. His sentence calls for him to repay more than $257,000 in restitution.

 Public should see report on Franklin County losses

Franklin County knows it has a problem. More than $2.8 million went missing over a span of 20 years, and officials have no doubt about who they believe took the money. Dennis Huston, a former employee of the county’s public works department, is scheduled to go to trial in January on charges stemming from the missing money.  County officials say he used his position there to make fraudulent payments to a company no longer in business and pocketed the money himself to support cocaine and gambling habits. Warning flags had been raised about Huston to county officials before. The FBI investigated him and it was brought to light that he had been convicted of embezzlement at a prior job just before Franklin County hired him.  But it wasn’t until an audit of the department’s vendor list turned up continuing payments to a business no longer in operation that Huston was fired early this year and subsequently charged with the thefts.

 DOJ Coming After Full Tilt Poker Owners Assets

A new amendment has been filed by the United States Department of Justice that includes Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar, Rafe Furst and Chris Ferguson. The four men face forfeiture charges as part of the second amended complaint. The complaint states the financial history of distributions that were paid to the four owners of Full Tilt Poker, which comes to around $137 million. The complaint cites many statutes including the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Wire Act and the Travel Act. The Department of Justice is calling the distribution of funds an ‘illegal enterprise’ and the distributions are now subject to forfeiture. The complaint states: “There is probable cause to believe that the Defendant Properties constitute, or are traceable to property used in illegal gambling businesses.” The amended complaint is seeking forfeiture amounts from all four owners in the following amounts:  Howard Lederer $42.5 million, Chris Ferguson $42 million, Ray Bitar  $40.8 million, Rafe Furst $11.7 million

SkyCity cheats use hi-tech gadgets

Global cheating syndicates trying to swindle millions of dollars with hi-tech gadgets are responsible for some of the hundreds of crimes committed at SkyCity each year. Sophisticated spy cameras and shuffling devices – hidden up shirt sleeves – are some of the tools of the trade for the professional crooks who travel the world to target wealthy casinos. Two casino gangs have been detected at SkyCity recently, including one VIP group who won $4.5 million. Suspicions were raised about the 13 people on a junket from Singapore when the security team at SkyCity noticed the baccarat player who cut the deck had a “very unusual” action, according to Department of Internal Affairs documents released under the Official Information Act.

31 arrests made after cockfighting ring bust

Police in Lawrence County busted a cock fighting ring on Sunday. Lawrence County Drug Task Force agents along with the assistance of Sheriff’s Deputies raided the property after conducting a month long investigation.  Mitchell said an undercover agent was able to witness illegal cock fighting, as well as illegal drug activity that was occurring on the property.  Mitchell said that agents also discovered several roosters that were dead or severely injured.  Charges included unlawful possession of a controlled substance, chicken fighting, gambling and cruelty to animals.

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

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