Daily Archives: September 3, 2013

Brief Look at Crime 08/26 – 09/01

Woman blames Satan for leaving kids in car at casino

Police said Romaine Pierre, 31, and Malory Pierre, 27, of North Miami played the slots at a South Florida casino and left their four children alone inside the car, which they had left running, parked outside the casino. The younger sister said they had only planned to use the bathroom until an urge got the better of them. “It comes to the point where God is talking here, and the devil is talking here,” she said, pointing to either side of her head. According to reports, the sisters drove to Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach with two boys and two girls, ages 8, 5, 4 and 2. A customer at the casino then noticed the children sitting in the car for about 20 to 30 minutes and called 911. “Hallandale Police came to the car and had to have one of the children unlock the car,” indicated Judge John Hurley during the women’s bond hearing. “The oldest child, I believe, said, ‘My stepmother and sister went inside and left us here.'” The women told police they had gone to only use the restroom, but police later found out the women had checked in to the Players’ Club and were gambling inside. Surveillance camera footage also showed the women playing the slots.

367 dogs rescued from ‘horrendous conditions’ in Alabama

 Nearly 370 pit bulls were rescued during a federal dog fighting raid in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia on Friday following a three-year investigation. Authorities say it is the second –largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history.  U.S. Attorney George Beck, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The Humane Society of the United States, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Auburn Police Department and others announced the raid of the multi-state dog fighting ring at a press conference this morning.  The raid was the result of a three-year investigation started by Auburn Police. The investigation remains ongoing. “The conditions were consistent of what we see in other illegal dog fighting rings,” he said, adding that the dogs were living in” horrendous conditions,” the majority tethered to heavy chains. They were infested with fleas and had no fresh water or food. Many of the dogs had wounds, scars or other conditions consistent with dog fighting, Rickey said. The indictment also charges the suspects with promoting or sponsoring a dog fight and with possessing, buying, selling, transporting and delivering a dog for fighting purposes. Additional charges also relate to conducting an illegal gambling business.

Gambling lawyer in Hong Kong’s biggest fraud case jailed

A former senior partner of an international law firm who once gambled away HK$10 million in a day was jailed for 12 years yesterday for a HK$8 billion fraud and money laundering scheme designed to pay off his huge betting debts. Sentencing Navin-kumar Aggarwal, former partner of K&L Gates, a judge described it as Hong Kong’s worst case of embezzlement. Aggarwal, 47, pleaded guilty in the Court of First Instance to two counts of fraud and one of money laundering in a scheme that caused losses for 92 potential investors, two clients and the law firm over a period of four years. “How does a man get through at least HK$500 million of other people’s money? The answer in your case was gambling,” Mr Justice Peter Line, told Aggarwal. “So the money has gone forever, lost in the casinos of Macau, wasted in the pursuit of your own pleasure.”

Suspected cockfighting ring busted in Antelope Valley

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies busted up a suspected cockfighting ring in the Antelope Valley on Monday, seizing nearly 300 birds, most of them groomed for battle. Authorities say they’ve seen a recent uptick in cockfighting cases, in which roosters are outfitted with razor-sharp blades and goaded into fighting — often to their bloody deaths — in illegal gambling events that draw tens of thousands of dollars in bets. “It’s like any other crime pattern, it has peaks and valleys,” said Lt. Keith Lieberman of the department’s Community Oriented Services bureau. “For some reason, right now, we’re kind of on the uptick.” Deborah Knaan, animal cruelty case coordinator for the L.A. County district attorney’s office, said that increased focus on cockfighting on the part of law enforcement has led to more busts — which has, in turn, emboldened neighbors to tip off authorities. “They know cases will actually be investigated if they call them in,” she said. “Cockfighting doesn’t just involve the inhumane treatment of animals, it involves a whole host of quality-of-life issues.”

Father and son in Penn Hills accused of taking $100,000 from business to gamble

A Penn Hills father and son are expected to surrender this morning on charges that they stole more than $100,000 from a local business to “feed their gambling habit,” the Allegheny County district attorney’s office said today. Each faces charges of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy. “This should be considered an ongoing investigation as our office believes that there may be additional victims,” Mr. Manko said in the release. After reviewing bank records and records of Mr. Kocott Sr.’s activity at Rivers Casino, she determined that Mr. Kocott Jr. wrote counter checks for more than $100,000 to his father who “cashed in” more than $140,000 at the casino during roughly the same period, depleting the bank account, according to the complaint. Mr. Gray told the detective “his experience with [Mr. Kocott Sr.] has consisted of many broken promises and missed deadlines,” according to the complaint, and that Mr. Kocott Sr. continues to “string along” both him and his client in an attempt to broker additional deals and avoid criminal charges.

Singing adviser in Oklahoma defrauds clients of more than $5 million

An Oklahoma adviser, who was also a popular wedding singer, defrauded about 30 clients out of $4.7 million of investments, and stole about $700,000 from clients outright over three and a half  years, securities regulators alleged. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Larry Dearman Sr. and his friend Marya Gray gambled away, used for Ponzi payments and otherwise spent on themselves about $4.7 million that clients invested with Mr. Dearman from December 2008 through August 2012. He was registered as an investment adviser representative of The Focus Group Advisors in Bartlesville, Okla., during that period.

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