A Brief Look at Crime 03/04 – 03/10

Taiwan gang hit man gets prison in Vegas killing

Wen Jun Li crossed the wrong people while racking up a $10,000 gambling debt in Las Vegas. It ended up costing him his life. Li was slashed and stabbed 32 times while frantically trying to escape a ruthless hit man for an Asian gang who was dressed in black and had tracked him to a dark karaoke bar several blocks west of the Las Vegas Strip. Xiao Ye Bai, 26, a man prosecutors called an enforcer for a Taiwan-based gang known as United Bamboo, was sentenced Tuesday to life without parole in a Nevada state prison for Li’s bloody killing – plus what could amount to another lifetime for slashing two other people in the July 2009 attack at the Forbes KTV bar and restaurant. Judge Michael Villani on Tuesday called the attack “senseless.” He sentenced Bai to life in prison for Li’s murder, and added a sentence of 32 to 85 years for Bai’s convictions on kidnapping, extortion, conspiracy to commit murder, and other felony charges.

Police Involved In Horrific Gambling Massacre

The Philippines has long suffered from major corruption and violence problems. Back in 2009, for instance, 57 defenseless civilians including 34 journalists were massacred in a field for their support of a local politician.  Now the Southeast Asian country has plunged further depths after 13 people including lottery racket boss Vic Siman, were summarily executed by police and military personnel looking to protect Siman’s local gambling boss rival. Originally, law enforcement officials under Superintendent Hansel Marantan, claimed the shootout occurred after a criminal gang tried to ram through a security checkpoint in a town three hours from Manila. However, when the country’s media reported local gambling boss Vic Siman and five police and military officers protecting him were amongst the dead, Philippine President Benigno Aquino felt compelled to order an investigation.

Ex-nonprofit bookkeeper sentenced to two years for tax crimes

A former McLean resident who embezzled more than $800,000 from a nonprofit tied to the Unification Church and then failed to report the income on her tax returns was sentenced to two years in prison, prosecutors said.  Sookyeong Kim Sebold, the former bookkeeper of the nonprofit, was sentenced to the prison time on Friday and was also ordered to pay $133,548 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. She was convicted in December of filing a false 2005 tax return and tax evasion for the year 2005. Sebold, 52, had worked as a bookkeeper and treasurer for the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit organization that was founded to promote Korean culture and ballet. The foundation was primarily funded by the Unification Church International, which had ties to the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon. During Sebold’s trial in federal court in Alexandria, evidence showed that from 2002 to 2005, she embezzled more than $800,000 from the foundation and used the money for day trading, gambling and other personal expenses, according to prosecutors.

 Fraudster who stole from wounded veterans is jailed for three years

A fraudster who stole money destined for injured war heroes has been jailed for three years – after blowing the cash on speedboats, women and luxury hotels. Christopher O’Neill conned Welsh Government politicians into giving him £125,000 to create a hotel for wounded ex-soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. But O’Neill, 51, blew the taxpayers’ money on a lavish spending spree. A court heard he splashed out on speedboats, gambling debts, high living and trying to romance three women at the same time. A court heard he set up the Forces For Good trust to help ex-armed forces personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to return to civilian life. Judge Niclas Parry said: “This was nothing other than a sophisticated high value scam. “It was a wicked deception on the public purse. Any right-minded person would be sickened. “Your wicked lies involve deceiving vulnerable former soldiers who had truly served their country and meant something, who had seen horrors and had their lives blighted.

 Suspected Cockfighting Ring Shocks Ohio City

Cockfighting is considered a “blood sport” that pits roosters against each other, often until their death.  Cleveland police say it was going on inside a home in, of all places, Ohio City. Police responded to a call for possible dog fighting inside a house on West 30th Street Saturday afternoon. When they arrived, they heard noises from the basement and found not dogs, but roosters fighting. Charlotte Hardy lives on the street and was shocked to hear about the cockfighting. “I think it’s really terrible to abuse any kind of animals.  I just can’t picture it,” she said. Police say they found two dead roosters and 43 live ones inside the house.  The say there were forty men watching the cockfighting. Police say the homeowner was arrested for felony cruelty to animals and gambling charges.

 Ontario police seize $1.6M in cash in new gaming raids

Eighteen people face charges following a series of raids in southern Ontario today, which police say are related to an illegal gaming operation that was previously targeted on Super Bowl Sunday. York Regional Police Deputy Chief Bruce Herridge told a news conference Tuesday that search warrants were executed in Toronto, Barrie, in York Region and also in London. The raids involved numerous Ontario police forces that have been working together on an ongoing investigation into Platinum Sports Book, an offshore gaming website that police allege is run by members of organized crime. Herridge said Tuesday’s raids had targeted both personal residences and financial institutions. “Approximately $1.6 million in cash, two handguns, a Taser, numerous computers, cellphones, betting lists, ledgers, bank statements, drafts and documents relating to criminal organizations were seized today,” said Herridge, when detailing the haul that police claimed following the raids.

 Glen Rock man charged with investment fraud

Federal authorities arrested a Glen Rock man and an alleged co-conspirator Thursday morning and charged them with defrauding 15 victims of $5 million through a series of phony real estate investment deals, including schemes involving an Atlantic City casino and a pizzeria in the Bahamas. Paul Mancuso, 46, was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and made an initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in U.S. District Court in Newark, prosecutors said. Also charged with the same allegation was Pasquale Stiso, 52, of West Harrison, N.Y. Prosecutors said the pair were “heavily involved” in illegal gambling, with Mancuso paying $600,000 for gambling losses to a bookmaker, to whom the Glen Rock man also owed $500,000 for gambling losses. The two men could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from their crimes, whichever is the greatest.

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

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