A Brief Look at Crime 04/15 – 04/21

Hunt On for Military Police Captain Who Killed NGO Worker

Cambodia – Military police say they have launched an investigation into the murder of a staffer from legal aid NGO International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), who was shot in the neck and killed by one of their own military police officers in Kandal province’s Takhmao City on Friday night. The victim, IBJ provincial investigator Houn Bunnith, 33, had attended a party with military police captain Reab Bun Song, 30, at the officer’s snooker hall in Takhmao City. A witness told police that Houn Bunnith, a father of three, allegedly accused the military police officer of operating an illegal gambling business from his snooker hall. Shortly after, Houn Bunnith was shot in the throat and critically injured before being left in front of a nearby medical clinic by the officer, who has since fled.

 ‘Poker Madam’ Who Arranged Illegal Games For Top Hollywood Stars Indicted In New York’s Organized-Crime Gambling Ring

Notorious Hollywood poker madam Molly Bloom is one of nearly three dozen people who face federal charges in connection with a high-stakes illegal poker ring that stretched from Tinseltown to New York and involved some of Hollywood’s biggest names, drugs, and even alleged Russian mobsters. Bloom was previously sued and charged with helping organize illegal Hollywood poker games that included Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. Radar broke the story about Hollywood’s illegal A-list games and detailed how Bloom arranged dealers and coordinated players for the events, charges she denied but were supported by multiple sources who spoke to Radar. We also were first to reveal that alleged Russian mobsters played in some of her games and now the Feds have indicted her on related counts.

Woman gets 33 months in federal prison for embezzling tribal funds

A former elected officer of the Heipa/Veblen District of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Oyate who, with others, stole nearly $350,000 from the district was sentenced Tuesday to 33 months in federal prison. Earlier this year, Wanna was found guilty by a jury of a felony count of aiding and abetting misapplication of funds from an Indian tribal organization. Three other tribal district officials pleaded guilty in the same case. Collectively, they and Wanna will have to make $345,965 in restitution for the money they stole between January 2007 and January 2009. Kornmann said the four would meet at a casino, issues checks for more than they were entitled to for their service, then cash the checks at the casino. He said it’s unclear what happened to the money the former board members paid themselves.

Horseshoe Casino Cleveland is slapped with $180,000 in fines

The Horseshoe Casino Cleveland will pay $180,000 in fines for violating security and operating rules set by state law, regulators announced Wednesday. Offenses include use of unapproved dice, mishandling keys, failing to post a problem-gambling hotline on promotional posters, encouraging cocktail servers to enter a restricted area between table games, replacing chips with quarters and improperly storing and shipping slot machines.  “The Casino Control Act exists to ensure the integrity of gaming in the State of Ohio,” Jo Ann Davidson, chairwoman of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, said in a news release. “In the case of these sanctions, we as regulators found  Horseshoe Casino Cleveland failed to adhere to Ohio law and their internal controls, not just once, but repeatedly.

Former bookkeeper sentenced for theft from Mount Laurel law firm

A Gloucester County woman was sentenced to three years in state prison Friday after admitting she stole nearly $150,000 from a Mount Laurel law firm, where she worked as the bookkeeper and office manager. “As we have come to understand, her major issue was gambling,” Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew McDonnell said in the Burlington County Courthouse. “Hopefully, while in prison, she will get some help and address some of her mental health issues.” In addition to the prison term, Judge James W. Palmer Jr. ordered McKinlay to pay full restitution to the victim, David Apothaker of Apothaker & Associates PC, or his insurance company if the losses have already been covered. McKinlay, formerly of Folcroft, Pa., wrote dozens of checks to herself, putting in the memo field “court costs” and then using the ill-gotten money to gamble at the Showboat and Resorts casinos in Atlantic City, and Harrah’s in Chester, Pa.

 Former Full Tilt Poker CEO pleads guilty

A former chief executive of Full Tilt Poker, an online poker company, pleaded guilty on Monday to violating U.S. anti-Internet gambling laws, but he avoided prison time due to his failing health. Raymond Bitar, 41, is suffering from “severe heart failure,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Arlo Devlin-Brown said at a federal court hearing in Manhattan. In an expedited court process, Bitar was also sentenced to time served and ordered to forfeit $40 million. Bitar was one of 11 people, including the owners of two other online poker companies, who federal prosecutors charged in 2011 with illegal Internet gambling. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. Bitar admitted to lying to customers about the safety of their money with the company. At one point, there was a $350 million gap between what Full Tilt owed customers and how much cash it had available, Devlin-Brown said at the hearing.

Russian gambling ring exposed across US

Thirty four people have been charged across the US over alleged links to  Russian criminals and a high stakes illegal gambling circuit catering to  multimillionaires. Clients, including Russian oligarchs, wracked up debts worth hundreds of thousands and even millions of  dollars, the Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday night  Faced with the wrath of the Russian mob, the gamblers paid up, the statement  said, citing one client, who lost some $2 million (£1.3 million) and  surrendered his plumbing company as payment. The money was laundered through bank accounts and shell companies in Cyprus  and the US. The charges “demonstrate the scope and reach of Russian organised crime,”  said FBI New York assistant chief George Venizelos. The gambling was done through web sites and in high stakes poker rooms in and  around New York City.  Arrests were made in New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Los Angeles, but at  least four defendants remained at large.

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

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