A Brief Look at Crime 04/22 – 04/28

Teachers union dues spent on gambling

The former head of a central NY teachers union spent $800,000 in union dues to buy groceries, clothes and gamble. The woman, who died last year after heading the Auburn Teachers Association for 35 years, is believed to have misappropriated union funds for seven years, ending in 2012, according to a report by the Post-Standard of Syracuse. The current union head announced the discovery during an emergency meeting Monday, according to the report.

 Crestwood chiropractor gets 6 years inprison

ST. LOUIS   •   A Crestwood chiropractor, Dr. Anthony W. “Tony” Calandro, was sentenced to six years in federal prison Tuesday for health care fraud and other charges and ordered to repay $1 million, primarily to insurance companies. Calandro billed those companies for services that had not been provided, including “thousands” of procedures when patients didn’t show and “numerous” X-rays from 2006 to 2011, prosecutors have said. He also lied about the ownership of pension fund assets and stole more than $50,000 from his neighborhood association, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dorothy McMurtry said. Calandro lawyer Al Watkins told U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber Tuesday that Calandro was motivated by his desire to help financially support his family, not by greed. But McMurtry pointed out that Calandro used $25,000 of the money stolen from his neighborhood association for landscaping services, not to support his family, and withdrew money from the association’s account at a casino after he had been convicted in the health care case.

Sports book owner found dead

An owner of a recently closed online sports book was found dead from a gunshot to the head Friday, according to the Antigua Observer. Steve Schillinger, a co-owner of World Sports Exchange (WSEX.com), was found by friends in his condominium with a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the report. Schillinger, along with partners Jay Cohen and Hayden Ware, was indicted in the U.S. in 1999 for allegedly violating the Wire Wager act. Schillinger elected to stay in Antigua, where the online sports book and casino was based, rather than return to the U.S. to face charges. WSEX.com announced last week that it was no longer able to operate. It posted the following message on its website.

Police break up gambling ring

Officers from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBS), which deals specifically with organised crime, carried out over 800 searches in connection with the operation. “This is the biggest nationwide action to date concerning illegal gambling,” Inspector Mariusz Sokolowski told the Polish Press Agency (PAP). “It has shocked that community, and hopefully it will hamper its development,” he added. Among those detained is the alleged leader of the gambling ring, Adam G. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws), who has been charged with money-laundering, together with one other suspect. According to police, Adam G. had attempted to pass off his operations as an official business, but avoided paying the high tax level that is necessary for companies operating gambling firms.  It is estimated that the gambling ring was netting annual profits of up to 150 million (36 million euro) through Internet Gaming Machines.

Wife’s gambling losses lead to kidnap hoax

A woman’s attempt to hide her casino losses lead to her staging her own kidnapping on Tuesday night. This morning at around 8, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded a report of a kidnapping and robbery at the Zephyr Cove Lodge. An employee of Zephyr Cove noticed banging coming from the trunk of an older Silver Mercedes Benz. Locating the keys in the ignition, she opened the truck and found 42 year old Kim Vo of South Lake Tahoe. Deputies arrived and met with the victim, Vo who told them she had been gambling at the Lakeside Inn last night and left the casino with approximately $1,500.00 in cash. She continued stating that as she was walking back to her vehicle, someone struck her over the head with an unknown object knocking her unconscious. She later woke up in the truck of her vehicle and the money missing. During the course of the investigation, the whole story changed and Vo admitted to Investigators that she lied. Vo admitted she had gambled and lost all of her paycheck. She fabricated the story because she was afraid to tell her husband that she had gambled away her entire paycheck.

NY teachers union: Ex-president stole $800K

Authorities in central New York say they’re investigating a teachers union claim that its former longtime president stole more than $800,000 from the organization before committing suicide last year. Auburn police tell local media outlets that they’re investigating the alleged theft after it was reported this week by the Auburn Teachers Association. The union says a forensic audit revealed Sally Jo Widmer misappropriated about $808,000 in dues from 2006 to 2012. Widmer was the union’s president for more than 30 years. Police say she committed suicide at her Yates County home on Nov. 7, two days before her 64th birthday. Union officials say they discovered accounting irregularities while going through financial records a day after her death. Union officials say she spent the money on vacations, gambling meals and clothing.

Babysitter Allegedly Left Kids At Home In Order To Gamble At Casino 

This is something that has happened way too many times. The McAlester News-Capital reported Thursday that a woman in Oklahoma, who was babysitting a 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy, has been accused of leaving the children at her home, and then going to gamble at a nearby casino. Toni Webb, 38 years of age, was reportedly charged last week in Pittsburg County District Court with two counts of child neglect stemming from her alleged decision. Opponents of casinos have long argued against the social ills. It’s unclear whether Webb has a gambling problem. She was reportedly found at the Choctaw casino by police on one occasion.

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

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