A Brief Look at Crime 04/29 – 05/05

Wife pleads guilty in shooting death

Almost a year after he was found dead in his Papoose Lane home, Kevin Brown’s wife recently confessed to his murder as part of a plea deal with the office of District Attorney Mike Burns. Before her murder trial was set to begin, a source in the district clerk’s office confirmed Sarah Brown accepted an offer resulting in a 40-year prison sentence. County records show she also incurred a $3,000 fine and $219 in court costs. Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer said when Brown, a 50-year-old U.S. Army National Guard First Sergeant, did not report to work one day early last May, his coworkers became concerned and contacted authorities. When investigators went to his home and detected an odor emanating from inside, Mercer said authorities obtained a search warrant and ultimately discovered a “white male wrapped in plastic bags in the house.” Investigators later determined the man had been shot in the face. Several individuals close to the Browns told the Index the couple had significant marital problems. Drug use and gambling are among the allegations levied against Sarah Brown, and a neighbor reported seeing the couple fight publicly about finances.

Debt-ridden auto driver held for murdering sister-in-law

The Mumbai Crime Branch on Wednesday arrested a 45-year-old man for allegedly murdering his sister-in-law after she refused to lend him money. The suspect, Santosh Jagannath Sawant, was also booked for robbery after Rs 3.5 lakh of jewellery and other valuables belonging to the victim were recovered from him. Santosh is a resident of Gajmukh Society in Gorai, Borivali West. The police said that he spent most of his money on drinking and gambling, and had run up a huge debt. He had asked Sangeeta to lend him money several times, but she refused. On April 26, he allegedly decided to kill her and steal her jewellery. “He went to the victim’s house around 11 am and killed her with a knife,” said Inspector Vinayak Vatsa. He injured his left hand while committing the murder, and left a pair of cotton gloves he was wearing at the scene. His shirt was also stained, but he dumped it in Gorai Creek, Vatsa said.

Woman with personality disorder stole $8m

A Melbourne court has heard a woman who stole almost $8 million from her employers has multiple personality disorder. Wendy Hope Jobson, of Werribee, west of Melbourne, pleaded guilty to stealing the money from the Victorian hotel chain the Koroneos Group. She took the money in 1,400 separate transactions over 6 years and gambled it away through online gambling sites. The Victorian Supreme Court heard she also used the money to buy a house, car and holidays.

Smithtown Man Pleads Guilty to $3.1M Wire Fraud Scheme

A Smithtown man pleaded guilty Friday to stealing $3.1 million in retirement savings from unsuspecting victims in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere, gambling much of it on sporting events. According to the criminal charges filed today in the Eastern District of New York, Swanson misrepresented his job, background, and investment experience to his victims, and then provided the victims with false reports touting his investments’ performance. These misrepresentations fraudulently induced the victims to invest with Swanson, who, officials said, stole and squandered their retirement savings for his own benefit, including gambling his victims’ savings on sporting events. “Just as Swanson played fast and loose with the truth, he also played with his victims’ money, gambling much of it away on sporting events. Due to the combined efforts of law enforcement, the real Swanson will now receive the only payout his actions deserve: fraud charges, a guilty plea, and the prospect of a significant jail sentence.”

Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Approx. $1.3 Million From Employer

An Arcade woman plead guilty, as charged, Monday morning after she stole approximately $1.3 million from her employer. The embezzlement occurred while employed as a bookkeeper for American Stainless Corporation in Buffalo. Davis also admitted she evaded paying state income taxes by failing to report these ill-gotten earnings on her NYS Income Tax returns. Davis used the money for gambling, buying a tow-truck business named “Triple Star Towing,” which she named after her favorite slot machine game, and to purchase various consumer goods.

Ex-bank executive sentenced on fraud charges

former investment broker with PNC Bank was sentenced Monday to 42 months in federal prison on charges he swindled more than $700,000 from the bank and eight customers.  Nicholas Polito Jr., of Scranton, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo on a charge of bank fraud. Polito’s attorneys, Patrick Casey and Lawrence Moran, blamed addictions to alcohol and gambling for why their client stole investments from eight elderly customers of PNC Bank. Federal authorities said Polito was working as an investment broker with PNC Bank in Scranton when he stole money from 2005 to November 2011. “The nature and circumstances of the offense is extremel  serious,” Caputo told Polito, noting Polito violated the “trust” he earned from his employer and customers.

Former VP at First National Bank of Whitney sentenced to seven years

A former vice president at the First National Bank of Whitney, who said her gambling addiction drove her to embezzle more than 
$6 million from the Hill County bank, was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in federal prison. Mary Helen “Murty” Lane, 58, apologized to bank officials for betraying the trust they bestowed on her. “I’d like to ask for forgiveness, but I actually understand if that is not possible,” she said. Lane, who worked at the bank for 27 years, pleaded guilty in Waco’s 
federal court in March to theft, 
embezzlement or misapplication by a bank officer or employee during a 10-year period. Federal officials say she used the money she stole to finance lavish gambling trips to Las Vegas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, to buy sports cars and pay her debts.

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