A Brief Look at Crime 04/01 – 04/07

Woman found shot to death in garage at Majestic Star Casino

A 76-year-old woman was found shot to death early this morning in a parking garage at Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Ind., officials said. Austgen was found in the 2D parking garage located at 1 Buffington Harbor Dr. with a gunshot wound to the lower left torso. She was pronounced dead on the scene, the release said. The coroner has ruled her death a homicide. There was no immediate information available about the slaying from police, but the Lake County Crime Lab, the Gary Police Department and the Griffith Police Department were investigating.

 Kansas Woman Sentenced for Fraud Scheme

A Leavenworth, KS woman was sentenced in federal court today for a bank fraud scheme in which she embezzled more than $561,000 from her North Kansas City, MO employer. On Oct. 10, 2012 Cathey pleaded guilty to 15 counts of bank fraud. Cathey was employed from Sept. 7, 1997, through March 31, 2011, as the controller for Mega Industries Corp., a heavy highway and general contractor construction company in North Kansas City with approximately 25 employees. Cathey admitted that she embezzled approximately $561,552 as a result of her fraud scheme. Cathey obtained checks from the office of a subordinate, wrote unauthorized checks to herself and, without the knowledge or consent of the company presidents, forged their signatures on the checks. Cathey deposited the checks in her personal bank account and used the money largely for gambling.

 Dawson gets 60 months in prison for stealing $6.2 million

An Autauga County man that was accused of stealing more than $6.2 million in government funding, $799,000 from the West Dallas County Water Authority, was sentenced to 60 months in the United States Bureau of Prisons. According to the United States Attorney’s Office former USDA employee Ricky Nelson Dawson was found guilty of stealing more than $6.2 million from various water authorities in Alabama by writing fraudulent checks payable to the federal government. A restitution hearing is set for June 5. Attorney for the West Dallas Water Authority, Prince Chestnut, said it was recommended by the Bureau of Prisons that Dawson be, “designated to a facility near as possible to Montgomery,” and that he “be designated to a facility where residential gambling treatment is available.”

 Ex-banker says gambling drove him to rip off $1.3-million

A former Sidney bank executive now says a gambling addiction drove him to steal more than a million dollars. Matt Monheiser pleaded guilty in federal court last week to embezzling more than $1.3 million from what is now known as Points West Community Bank in Sidney. He shared how deep the addiction became saying, “The best way I can explain it is that it consumed me as much as someone who does drugs, alcohol or smoking. Gambling took my career and almost my life away from me. I needed treatment in the worst way, but like most addicts you don’t know you need help until you hit rock bottom.”

Man tried suicide after strangling wife

A man tried to kill himself by staying outside in the freezing mountains for three nights after strangling his wife, court documents obtained Friday state. David Wayne Reathman, 65, of Golden was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of Barbara Reathman, 70.  It could not be immediately determined if he had a lawyer. Police found her body on March 25 in a closet in the couple’s home with her ankles and wrists bound with duct tape. She also had a strip of tape covering her mouth, police said. David Reathman was missing but later surrendered. Investigators said he told them he believed murder-suicide was the only way to escape financial problems caused by the couple’s gambling addiction, and that his wife had joked that he should choke her in her sleep. Police also say Reathman exaggerated the severity of his lung cancer prognosis and lied about a life insurance policy to get his stepdaughter to help him commit suicide.

 Former doctor among eleven people charged for forging prescriptions

A former cardiologist with the Penn State Hershey Medical Group and ten other people have been charged in an alleged prescription forgery ring that operated in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster and York Counties.  The arrests come on the recommendation of a state Attorney General’s grand jury  The investigation started last February and ran through April of 2012.  Agents identified 26 fraudulent prescriptions. Those prescriptions were for the sale of 4400 oxycodone pills.  The street value for those pills is a whopping $110,000. “They’ve replaced a lot of street drugs because in the perception of the users they’re safe,” explained Lower Paxton Police Lieutenant Gary Seefeldt.  “Obviously they aren’t.  They’re safe for the person they’re prescribed to for the reason they were prescribed for.”  The presentment indicated that the doctor was having money problems due to a gambling addiction.  The Attorney General’s office says Dr. Fanelli was a former cardiologist working out of a group office in Camp Hill.

 NY gambling nun admits taking $128K from churches

Roman Catholic nun with a gambling addiction has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $130,000 from two rural western New York parishes. The Daily News of Batavia reports that 68-year-old Sister Mary Anne Rapp pleaded guilty Monday in Orleans County Court to grand larceny. She admits she stole the money from St. Mary’s Church in Holley and St. Mark’s Church in Kendall from March 2006 to April 2011. Rapp faces up to six months in jail when she’s sentenced July 1. She’ll also be required to pay restitution that would be worked out at a later date. Rapp was arrested in November after discrepancies were found during an audit. Investigators said she stole the money to feed a gambling addiction and spent the money at western New York casinos.

 Missouri woman faces federal charges, accused of embezzling to fund gambling

A northwest Missouri woman faces federal charges accusing her of bilking a company out of about $2.6 million to fund gambling, travel and other expenses. The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri says 54-year-old Laura Dejong was charged Wednesday with mail fraud and filing a false tax return. Her husband, 55-year-old Craig Dejong, is charged with filing a false tax return. The prosecutor’s office says they’ve pleaded not guilty. Laura Dejong is accused of embezzling about $2.6 million from a metal fabrication company, Kansas City Screw Products, where she was secretary and bookkeeper. The prosecutor’s office says in a release the Dejongs used the embezzled money to pay for cruises, vehicles, tickets to sporting events and for gambling that was well “into the millions of dollars.”

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