A Brief Look at Crime 05/20 – 05/26

Mississippi Casino In $75m Lawsuit Over Gambler’s Death

A Mississippi casino is currently facing a hefty multi-million dollar bill after a federal judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit accusing the gambling venue of serving so many free drinks to a heavily medicated man that he later collapsed and died. The incident took place at the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi back in August 2009, with the $75 million lawsuit subsequently being filed in 2012 by the man’s family in the U.S. District Court in Gulfport. The victim, Bryan Lee Glenn, 30, had apparently been taking an array of painkillers and antipsychotic drugs to treat his ailments stemming from a car accident in 2004, which left him with a traumatic brain injury, and another automobile accident in 2007, which left him with an injured back.

IRS slams Miccosukee Indians with $170 million in tax liens

The Internal Revenue Service has slammed the Miccosukee Indians with a bill of $170 million for the West Miami-Dade tribe’s failure to report and withhold taxes from its distribution of gambling profits to tribal members, according to court records. In a long-running battle, the IRS also has smacked hundreds of the tribe’s members with separate bills totaling $58 million for their failure to pay personal income taxes on those distributions during the same period, 2000 to 2005, records show.  The agency’s crackdown comes after years of fighting with the 600-member tribe over its refusal to pay taxes on the distribution of profits from its casino operation off the Tamiami Trail. The assessments for back taxes, interest and penalties, outlined in federal tax lien notices filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, reveal for the first time the sheer scope of the tribe’s tax problems with the IRS.

Woman stole nearly $250,000 from employer to fuel gambling habit

Bridgeton police say an office manager stole $243,000 from her employer to gamble at the casino. Janet Hopkins, 62, of House Springs, was arrested and charged with stealing. Authorities say Hopkins issued payroll checks to herself at Machine Center, Inc. over the last three years. Police documents state that Hopkins confessed to taking money for a gambling habit. She told police in 2012 and 2013 she lost $62,000 at the Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights.  Melodye Harris-Juelfs, a licensed counselor, said addicted gamblers often turn to stealing. “Their intentions are they’re going to win it back and pay it back before anybody finds out,” said Harris-Juelfs. “All they have to do is get that one big win.”

 Finance manager siphoned off $800K

He gambled in casinos and on stocks, and was in debt to the tune of $500,000. So Lee Lim Kiong siphoned nearly $800,000 from his employer. The 43-year-old was yesterday jailed for 41/2 years, after pleading guilty to two charges of criminal breach of trust as a servant involving $205,415. Three other similar charges were considered. Lee, who already had a gambling habit, started to go to casinos in Macau when he went to Hong Kong on business. His gambling habit became an addiction, said the lawyer. She added that he had sought treatment for his gambling addiction, and urged the court to give weight to his voluntary surrender and confession as evidence of his genuine remorse and contrition.

YCCAC embezzler gets 30 months

A federal court judge told Thomas Nelson that she expects him to work once hea’s released from prison and pay back upwards of $1 million that he stole from York County Community Action Corporation to finance his gambling addiction Tuesday. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torreson sentenced Nelson, 56, the former executive director of YCCAC, to 30 months in federal prison and to the maximum period of supervised release, three years. As part of the probation, he will be expected to work or perform 20 hours of community service weekly. He was ordered to pay about $700,000 in restitution to YCCAC, $500,000 to an insurance company that partially reimbursed YCCAC for their loss and $148,700 to the Internal Revenue Service. She said while Nelson took so-called “unrestricted” funds and not federal money that funded social service programs, the money he took could have been used to help people. “You stole the money from people in our society who can least afford it,” she told Nelson.

Couple stole almost $1 million from South Whitehall Township to feed gambling habit, authorities say

An Emmaus couple stole close to a million dollars from South Whitehall Township in an elaborate embezzlement scheme using residents’ utility payments to pay for their lifestyle and feed their gambling habits, according to the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office. Charges filed today against Nancy A. Tonkin, 66, a former township utilities supervisor, and her husband William J. Tonkin IV, 69, an ex-township cop, followed a roughly year-long investigation.  A Lehigh County grand jury recommended several felony charges April 26 against the Tonkins after investigation revealed they stole $854,497 from 1999 to 2012, authorities said. Residents victimized in the so-called lapping scheme — where Nancy Tonkin allegedly skimmed money for utility payments while trying to cover her tracks with others’ deposits — have had their accounts straightened up, authorities said.

 Manager Embezzled $243,277 From Bridgeton Company to Fund Gambling Habit

An office manager is accused of embezzling $243,277 over three years from a Bridgeton business to fund her gambling habit, police said. Janet Hopkins, 62, of House Springs, was charged May 10 with stealing more than $25,000, a class B felony. Bridgeton Police said an investigation showed Hopkins, the office manager for Machine Center at 4344 Bridgeton Industrial Drive, had stolen $243,277 between January 2010 and March 2013. As office manager, part of her duties was managing payroll. Police said she issued herself unauthorized paychecks and used the owner’s signature stamp to sign the checks. According to a court document, Hopkins told police she stole the money to fund her gambling habit. Police said she lost $62,370 at Harrah’s and Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights in 2012 and 2013.

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