Brief Look at Crime 09/16 – 09/22

Defence contends gambling debts cost Figliola his life

Frank Figliola was far more likely beaten to death by an enforcer as retribution for his gambling debts than by a hit man hired by his wife, a defence lawyer argued Monday.   Frank was a gambling addict who blew money at casinos as well as through illegal betting and in that world you “pay the consequences” if you can’t pay off your debts. He described Figliola as a “good man who made bad choices” and involved himself with the “type of people whose weapon would be a pool cue” — which was used in the vicious beating. Lacy argued his addiction was so bad, he put gambling before his health. At one point he had to borrow money from his mother to pay for prescription medicines he needed. He suffered from diabetes, among other things.

Billings woman charged with altering gambling machine vouchers

 A Billings woman accused of altering gambling machine ticket vouchers was charged with a felony crime Friday in Yellowstone County District Court. Cassie Ann Rathie, 24, appeared for arraignment before Judge Ingrid Gustafson and pleaded not guilty to offering or obtaining anything of value by fraud or operation of illegal gambling enterprise. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Victorian detectives bust alleged soccer match-fixing syndicate

Victorian detectives have swooped on a match fixing syndicate operating from Victoria’s Premier League professional soccer division. Fairfax Media can reveal that international match fixing syndicates run by organised criminals have been fixing soccer matches in Australia, making hundreds of thousands of dollars on Asian betting markets. An investigation revealed that up to ten European footballers playing professional football in Australia have been recruited by the syndicate. Some of the players arrested have played professionally in the United Kingdom before coming to Australia. One avenue of inquiry being probed by police is whether the players were recruited by the syndicate before flying to Australia. Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton said that winnings on the bets were about $2 million and the players were alleged to have been paid thousands of dollars for their involvement. He said it was the biggest match fixing scandal in Australian history. The scandal will put huge pressure on the state and federal government to concede to long-standing police requests for laws to be changes so authorities can share with sporting bodies information about suspected corruption.

Masonic lodge worker sent to prison for repeated thefts from nonprofit

A Bethlehem man who stole about $225,000 from Masonic Lodge 283 in the city over a three-year period was sentenced to Northampton County Prison this morning. The nonprofit Bethlehem Temple Association twice caught John Lindemuth stealing funds from the organization’s catering business, where he worked. In 2010, an unscheduled audit revealed he had skimmed $55,000 from the books. Rather than report it to police, the lodge kept it in house and made Lindemuth repay the missing cash, said defense attorney Norman Blatt Jr. Soon, Lindemuth, 48, began stealing more money to repay the funds he had already stolen, he told Judge Craig Dally this morning. He also said he’d stole money to gamble, hoping he would strike it big and be able to repay the whole amount. At one point, police said Lindemuth was spending $500 a night on lottery tickets.

When SC lawyers steal, clients’ safety net is thin

Rogue lawyer Richard J. Breibart of Lexington last month pleaded guilty to swindling 13 clients out of $2.5 million but possibly cheated more than 100 clients out of millions more. In Florence, the late attorney John Schurlknight cheated numerous clients out of millions so he could gamble, lawsuits say, and he and his still-living partner, William R. Rivers III, allegedly concocted a long-running scheme that stole millions from clients, according to a federal grand jury indictment. Currently, the Bar’s reimbursement fund, called the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection, has a limit of $200,000 in total claims per lawyer it will pay out. That means that if one lawyer is found to have stolen millions collectively from numerous clients, the most the Bar will compensate those clients is a collective $200,000. The maximum claim the fund will pay to any one claimant is $40,000.

Woman sentenced in church  theft

She was given three years of community control sanctions and was sentenced to 18 and 12 months in jail for a total of 30 months, all suspended except for 18 months. She will serve 12 months in jail, six months EOCC. Charges stem from the theft of thousands of dollars from St. Mary’s Church in St. Clairsville by Webb while she was an employee. Webb’s ex-husband spoke on her behalf and asked Fregiato to consider that she has a gambling addiction. He noted her remorse. Defense noted her prior law-abiding life. Fregiato denied a request for community controls. “I am sending a signal that you don’t steal thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars from someone in Belmont County, especially a charity, and think that you’re not going to jail,” he said. Issues of restitution must also be resolved. Webb admitted to the theft of $20,000. She is accused of stealing $122,000, with a total loss of $130,000 including accounting fees and other expenses.

Big Football Sports Gambling Scandal Hits Australia  

Australia is in a position on the planet that has a time zone that corresponds to Asia. This gives rise to opportunists who exploit time zones and make money doing it. The Australian state of Victoria police deputy commissioner Graham Ashton said Australia was a prime location for match-fixing on Asian betting markets due to its favorable time zone. The team at the centre of the match fixing is the Southern Stars Football Club, which is based in Melbourne’s south-east. This bunch is at the bottom of the pole in the Victorian Premier League this year. This club looks like it is a syndicate club with players who felt there was nothing to lose. It’s a shame they ruined the face of the whole sport for a few dollars. Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton commented that winnings on the bets amounted to about $2 million and the players took a sizable portion as well. The betting included the number of goals conceded as well as other obvious calls. Those who were arrested are British and are mid-tier professional players.

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

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