A man accused of dressing in a black ninja outfit and killing the son of a Japanese filmmaker in a Beverly Hills carport in 2010 was convicted of murder Tuesday. In closing arguments Monday, prosecutors portrayed Scott Barker as a cowardly man who waited in a Beverly Hills carport dressed in a black ninja-like outfit before stabbing Katsutoshi “Tony” Takazato 58 times with a kitchen knife. The prosecution said Barker was driven to murder after learning that Chie Coggins Johnson, Barker’s girlfriend at the time, was reconsidering moving with him to Florida and that Takazato was trying to persuade her to do porn shots and engage in prostitution to help pay off his debts. Coggins Johnson had earlier dated Takazato and continued to live with him. Takazato, 21, lived in Trousdale Estates, an upscale Beverly Hills neighborhood, in a property owned by his father, Fuminori Hayashida, who produced several low-budget films in the 1990s. Witnesses testified that Takazato had gambling and drug addictions. Coggins Johnson said he owed money to several people.
Way back in August 2002, Van Thu Tran, now 47, helped launch a criminal enterprise, which federal prosecutors have dubbed the “Tran Organization.” As far as these schemes go, this one was fairly successful, ripping off about $7 million from U.S. and Canadian casinos; however, “successful” is a relative term because virtually all the conspirators were caught by the feds and seem on their way to being comped into a federal penitentiary where there will likely be no courtesy bar — other than the ones on the doors to their jail cells. To date, a total of three Indictments have been issued from 2007 to 2009 and 42 defendants have pled guilty to charges relating to the casino-cheating conspiracy.
Broward Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a gunman they said fatally shot a 23-year-old man Monday night. Gunshots rang out in front of the 15th Street Supermarket in Pompano Beach near Blanche Ely High School around 5:50 p.m. “I heard the commotion,” said Toniqua Thomas. Thomas and dozens of other people were nearby when they said the shooting began. “They was gambling over there,” Thomas told Local 10’s Baron James. “One person owes the other person money, and wouldn’t give him the money. He was trying to run away.” As bullets chased him, the victim ran next door to the parking lot of the Georgia Grocery Store where deputies said he collapsed and died.
BOSTON — As part of an ongoing investigation into extortion and illegal gaming in Boston’s Chinatown, a Quincy man pleaded guilty late Friday to running an illegal gambling business, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office. The investigation included a court-authorized wiretap on the defendant’s phone and a series of consensual video-recordings made inside gambling dens. Luong said that his Beach Street gambling den had made $100,000 during a three-day period around Chinese New Year 2011, and that normally, the gambling den generated $60,000 or $70,000 per week in profits.
A new poll gives Republican challenger Richard Tisei (TIH’-say) a slight lead over seven-term incumbent Democrat John Tierney in the state’s 6th Congressional District, but the survey also finds nearly one-third of likely voters undecided. The poll of 371 likely voters in the district, conducted Sept. 21-Sept. 27, gave Tisei, a former state senator, 37 percent to Tierney’s 31 percent. Thirty percent said they were undecided. The poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center had a margin of error of 5.1 percent. Republicans view the 6th District as the party’s best hope of picking up a House seat in Massachusetts. Tierney’s wife, Patrice, was convicted last year of filing false tax returns for one of her two brothers accused of running an illegal offshore gambling ring. Tierney himself has not been accused of wrongdoing.
A Danvers, Mass. man who reportedly ran an online sports betting business in the Seacoast pleaded guilty to money laundering, gambling and tax charges in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire last week. The money laundering charges reported arose from a scheme in which Giannelli was listed as an employee on a former sports betting customer’s business. He provided the business with cash proceeds generated from the gambling business, and in return, the business issued paychecks to Giannelli, making it appear that his income was legitimate. The business also generated false W-2 forms that Giannelli used to support tax returns filed with the IRS. Between 2003 and 2007, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Giannelli laundered approximately $452,000 in proceeds through this scheme.
A 30-year-old father was brutally murdered in his Golders Green home after he demanded a friend repay a loan of £250,000, a court has heard. Career criminal Cima Sogojeva had been piling pressure on his friend Lundrim Gjikokaj to return the sizeable sum in the weeks leading up to his death, jurors heard on Tuesday. Mr Sogojeva, who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds from West End parking meters, had even threatened to harm Gjikokaj’s family if he failed to repay him, the Old Bailey heard. Gjikokaj agreed to meet Mr Sogojeva at his flat in Caroline Court, Highfield Road, Golders Green, to hand over the cash on October 6, 2008. But minutes after Gjikokaj visited the home, armed police found Mr Sogojeva’s bullet-riddled body sprawled on the living room floor of his flat after a neighbour raised the alarm. Opening the case prosecutor Bobbie Cheema said that Gjikokaj had fallen into serious debt after a bar he owned in the George Hotel in Reading started to struggle. His gambling debts spiralled out of control, with Gjikokaj blowing £64,000 in one visit to a casino, she said.
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