A Brief Look at Crime 06/24 – 06/30

Scheme cost 500+ victims at least $7 million

She promised high returns but instead caused high anxiety for hundreds of investors who were scammed out of millions of dollars. U.S. postal inspectors say they caught Kalin Dao with undercover video.  She is the mastermind behind the investment scheme that cost more than 500 victims at least $7 million. Inspectors invested in Dao’s company to learn about her business. “She gladly took my money, sent me regular updates, investment statements categorizing how my investment was doing,” said US Postal Inspector, Robert Strande.  Those documents were all fake.  Strande traveled to Las Vegas to attend an investors meeting with Dao and brought a hidden camera.  He spoke with her about the transparency of her records. Strande says the victims were devastated, ““It completely wiped them out financially. Most of them did not have disposable income.” Postal Inspectors say Dao used the money to finance her lavish gambling trips to Vegas.  She was sentenced to 12 years in prison.  

 Former Hawaii top cop pleads guilty to tax evasion, lying to FBI

A former Honolulu police major who retired in 2011 amid allegations that he extorted money from the operator of an illegal gambling house pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to felony charges. Carlton Nishimura, 57, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about what he told a prosecution witness and to filing a false income tax return in 2005. He faces a maximum five-year prison sentence for the lying charge and maximum three-year term for the tax evasion charge at sentencing in October. The FBI also claimed that Nishimura received about $6,000 per month in extortion money from the illegal gambling house operator between April 2004 and March 2006. In return for the guilty pleas to lying and tax evasion, the federal prosecutor promised to drop extortion conspiracy, witness tampering and methamphetamine possession charges against Nishimura.

 Bankrupt company director jailed for theft

A bankrupt and disqualified company director, who stole more than $500,000, has been jailed for more than three years. John Henry Ede has been found guilty for numerous charges involving taking money out of a business he was managing illegally, and gambling it away. Ede was handed a consecutive sentence totalling three years and seven months at Auckland District Court following a three week trial. The court heard how Ede took money meant for the company Neil Timber Limited (NTL), which he was unlawfully running, and placing it into the account of Neil Timber Trustees Limited (NTTL). He then spent most of the $501,658 on himself, much of which was gambled. He was found guilty of theft by a person in a special relationship, managing a business while bankrupt, and being involved in a company while bankrupt. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s national manager of the insolvency and trustee service, Robyn Cox, welcomed the ruling. “The sentence sends a strong message that breaches of the insolvency legislation are taken very seriously by the courts,” he said.

 4 are accused in NY of pocketing charity donations

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is charging that the operators of 19 charities that supposedly aided Israel pocketed millions of dollars for themselves. The charities all had names intended to appeal to Jews eager to help Israel such as the Israel Leukemia and Cancer Society.  But Schneiderman charged in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Brooklyn that the four people who ran the charities withdrew more than $2.5 million for their personal and family expenses from 2007 to 2013. According to The New York Times, Schneiderman said the expenses included home mortgages, the remodeling of a second home, car loans, dentist visits, video rentals and a trip to the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.

 23 indicted in NJ for alleged bank fraud scheme

Authorities in New Jersey have indicted 23 people on charges they allegedly posed as business account holders to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars, withdrawing most of the money from casinos in Atlantic City. Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman said Thursday those indicted face racketeering and other charges for allegedly stealing more than $275,000 from 14 business accounts at JP Morgan Chase Bank between February and September 2011. Sixteen of the defendants have been arrested. Warrants have been issued for the seven still at large. Most of those indicted are from the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. One defendant is from Reading, Pa., and one is from Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Prosecutors say the complex scheme involved creating fraudulent accounts from which money could be withdrawn.

 Former cop embezzled more than $90,000 from police social club, officials say

A former Lower Heidelberg Township policeman previously charged with stealing $4,900 from the township police union faces new charges of embezzling $92,820 from the Temple social club for the Berks County Fraternal Order of Police. The charges were filed Wednesday against John J. Masciotti, 42, by county Detective Thomas Weaver at District Judge Dean R. Patton’s office in Muhlenberg Township. Masciotti of the first block of Tennessee Avenue in Lower Heidelberg surrendered to authorities with his attorney at Patton’s office for arraignment on charges that include theft and receiving stolen property. Masciotti resigned in July from the Lower Heidelberg police force, of which he had been a member for at least 15 years, after he was charged by detectives from the district attorney’s office with embezzling $4,900 from the Lower Heidelberg police officers association, for which he was secretary and treasurer. Several friends and acquaintances of Masciotti told Weaver that Masciotti told them he had a heavy gambling debt. One man said he once overheard Masciotti explaining that he moved money from one account to another to cover any shortages.

Former Bookkeeper Stole $230K from Brookfield Business, Police Say

A 53-year-old Mukwonago woman, who worked as a bookkeeper in Brookfield between 2008 and 2012, is accused of stealing more than $230,000 from her former employer.  Boivin was working at Management Research Services, 19035 W. Capitol Drive, when she wrote out checks to herself totaling $225,721.89. She created fictitious entries in the books, matching the check numbers to vendors, according to the criminal complaint. She also totaled 45 unauthorized transactions totaling $2,329.47 on one credit card and 66 unauthorized transactions totaling $2,802.18 on a second credit card, the complaint states. Boivin was confronted about the missing money by a financial accountant. She admitted to stealing from the business during that confrontation, the complaint states. The Brookfield Police Department filed search warrants into her player’s cards at Potawatomi Bingo and Casino. They discovered $1.1 million was cycled through her card on the slot machines 624 times between 2008 and 2009. Her current losses are  $196,584.13, the complaint states.

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

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