A Brief Look at Crime 10/15 – 10/21

Postman to be sentenced for €1.7m fraud

THE postal manager who went missing following the discovery of an almost €1.7m fraud has had his sentencing adjourned. Tony O’Reilly (37) of Sandhills, Hacketstown Road, Carlow, appeared before Judge Barry Hickson at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court yesterday  having pleaded guilty to six charges of theft. O’Reilly also pleaded guilty to six charges of falsifying An Post lodgement dockets for accounting purposes between December 6, 2010, and June 29, 2011. The thefts totalled €1,650,000. He is alleged to have taken the money because of a gambling addiction.

 Former Elk Grove man suspected of gambling with investor money

A former Elk Grove man who allegedly bilked members of the Indian Fijian community with his Perfect Financial Group was arrested on multiple charges in Caldwell, Idaho. In addition to investment fraud and bankruptcy fraud, Singh is accused ofwire fraud and bankruptcy bribery.  The indictment says Singh targeted 190 members of the Indian community and raised $20 million. He told investors their money would be used for lending. The indictment says he instead used the money to gamble for his own purposes and to pay off early investors. The indictment says he lost up to $12 million gambling. He filed bankruptcy in the summer of 2010, and the indictment says he committed fraud inside of bankruptcy protection and made false statements.

Five convicted in shooting death of Brinks guard at Calder Casino

Five people, including a man from Broward County, have been convicted for the shooting death of a Brinks guard during an armed robbery at the Calder Casino and Race Course in Miami Gardens, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer announced Wednesday. According to authorities, Ammar and Mitchell worked security jobs at Calder Casino. They conspired to rob the Brinks guard as he made a scheduled cash pickup. Mitchell recruited Louissant, Barkley and Kyler for the job. On the day of the robbery, Mitchell drove Louissant to Calder in Kyler’s truck, which Kyler had falsely reported stolen, according to trial evidence. After shooting the guard in the head and chest, Louissant grabbed the Brinks money bag with about $345,000 inside, sped away in a truck and later switched to a getaway car to complete his escape with Mitchell, Kyler and Barkley, prosecutors said.

 Men expected to plead guilty in gambling ring tied to accused Ascot Estates killer

Three men accused of running a gambling ring are expected to plead guilty to running the illegal business. Lanny Ray Gunter II, Harry B. Benenhaley and Ronald D. Smith are charged with conduct of an Illegal Gambling Business. The three agreed to plead guilty in a brief filed in federal court Monday. The agreement for Gunter says he must cooperate with a federal investigation into a sports gambling ring linked to accused killer Brett Parker. Parker is in jail awaiting trial for the murder of his wife Tammy Parker.  He’s also charged with killing his friend, Brian Capnerhurst.

 25-year-old man ran $10 million Ponzi scheme in Boca Raton, feds allege

WEST PALM BEACH – A 25-year old man ran an audacious $10 million investment fraud out of Boca Raton, using the money to finance his jet-set, lavish lifestyle and gamble big at Las Vegas casinos, according to federal court documents. Donald R. French Jr. launched what the FBI has described as “a classic Ponzi scheme” when he was just 21 years old, allegedly convincing clients he could get them returns as high as 50 percent by investing in such things as emeralds. He spent the past five years living in Rome, visiting about 30 countries and gambling away at least $565,000, records show.  His jaunts around the world ended this summer when he was detained in South Africa and shipped back to Las Vegas to face charges he passed $750,000 in bad checks at casinos, court records show. After he pleaded guilty to a felony charge there, federal authorities took him into custody. He arrived in South Florida in handcuffs last week to face a wire fraud charge that could carry up to 20 years in prison.

 Caretaker accused of stealing from elderly client

A 55-year-old Lauderhill woman was charged with grand theft and elderly exploitation, on Wednesday, and accused of stealing an estimated $400,000 from the Deerfield Beach woman she was paid to care for, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Lorna Mulgrave was a home health care aide for Jean Barbara between March 2007 and March 2010 when Barbara died at the age of 93, investigators said. In addition to the $500 payments she received, Mulgrave paid herself an extra $157,000 over the three years she cared for Barbara. Records showed Mulgrave also gave money to her daughter Sherika Jackson and her son-in-law Shane Jackson. Mulgrave also spent Barbara’s money to pay electricity, cable and Internet bills for several other people she knew. Thousands were spent on pay-per-view movies, music downloads, cellphone calls, long distance calls to her native Jamaica, extra large clothing, home repairs and electronic payments to casinos, records showed.

 Pueblo file clerk stole $132,000

A former file clerk at Picuris Pueblo faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to embezzling about $132,000 to support a gambling habit and pay bills, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. Norma Mermejo, 61, pleaded guilty in federal court to two charges: embezzlement and theft from an Indian tribal organization. During Thursday’s hearing Mermejo admitted embezzling tribal funds 144 times between February 2008 and April 2010 when she was fired after tribal officials learned of the thefts. She also may be fined up to $250,000 when she is sentenced at a date still to be set.

 Hedge Fund Manager Efrosman Pleads Guilty to Forex Fraud

Aleksander Efrosman, the fund manager who fled the U.S. after being accused of swindling clients, admitted to running a scheme to cheat investors out of $5 million, including $3 million he spent at a casino.  Efrosman, 50, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn, New York, prosecutors said in an e-mailed statement. Efrosman, who controlled foreign-currency hedge funds Century Maxim Fund Inc. and AJR Capital Inc., had faced mail-fraud, wire-fraud and money-laundering charges. Efrosman stole from more than 100 clients who gave him $5 million in 2004 and 2005 to invest, prosecutors said. He gambled more than $3 million at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, according to prosecutors.

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

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