Daily Archives: October 16, 2013

Brief Look at Crime 10/06 – 10/13

Desperate gambling addict killed his own wife

Problem gambling can ruin someone’s life, and in some cases it can lead to suicide. David Wayne Reathman and his spouse Barbara lost control over their gambling habit, resulting in massive debts. On one occasion, Barbara told her husband that suicide might be the only solution. Barbara’s suggestion became reality as David Wayne actually murdered his wife. It took him several weeks to work out a plan. He got down to brass tacks after their gambling debts soared again. Reathman murdered his spouse, but the second part of his plan failed. He drove up the hills where he lay down on the ground in an attempt to kill himself due to the freezing cold. The cold didn’t do the job, so he decided to come clean. Reathman went to the police and confessed everything. He now has been found guilty to murder, resulting in a 48-year jail term. “It’s an extremely complicated case, and we think the sentence is justiciable. For all persons involved it may be hard to understand how things got so out of control,” a spokesperson for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office said.

Man shot dead in gambling row

Crime Chief Seelall Persaud has confirmed that police are investigating a shooting death which occurred early this morning on Mandela Avenue during a $500 gambling row. Persaud identified the dead man as Mansford Lewis, a grass-cutter of Sophia. He was shot in the face and back. He said that the incident occurred around 12.30 am and that police are currently pursuing a suspect identified as ‘Kevin’ who fled after hearing that the man was dead. Persaud explained that Lewis was at a shop on Mandela Avenue where illegal gambling takes place when there was an argument over $500. A fight soon developed on the roadway and it was during this time that Lewis was shot. The suspect and a taxi driver, Persaud said, rushed the man to the Georgetown Hospital where he was pronounced dead. It was on hearing this that the suspect fled. Asked if anything is known about the suspect, the crime chief said that checks will have to be done into his background.

Former Warrington ambulance official gets prison in theft

A former Warrington Community Ambulance employee is going to prison after stealing more than $640,000 from the nonprofit service to support a gambling habit. Danette Lewchick pleaded guilty in July to dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity and a series of theft charges after taking $642,741.25 from the ambulance company. She was sentenced Thursday to three to six years in state prison to be followed by 14 years of probation. At her sentencing hearing, Lewchick admitted to blowing it all — along with a half million dollars of her own money — at casinos, including Parx in Bensalem. Lewchick was the ambulance services’ financial secretary in 2008 and by April was in control of the finances. A forensic examination of Warrington Ambulance’s records revealed that between January 2008 and July 2012 Lewchick wrote herself checks to be cashed, increased her paycheck and even made direct withdrawals from the ambulances’ bank accounts, including transactions at an ATM inside Parx Casino. And to hide those illegal transactions, she created fake accounting entries, fake records of bills and bank statements that enabled her to bypass existing checks and balances on the nonprofit’s income. Lewchick said she lost $1.1 million due to a gambling addiction and that she hoped for mercy from the court and forgiveness from the people she cared about. However, her words were meaningless from the judge’s perspective.

Gambling supply owner federally indicted

The former co-owner of Reece’s Las Vegas Supply and five other employees were federally indicted on charges of illegal gambling, tax fraud and obstruction of justice charges. Reece Powers II, who operated the gambling supplies store in Dayton, is alleged to have skimmed money from operating Texas Hold ‘Em poker fundraisers between 2004 and 2011. All six were charged with one count each of conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and one count each of operating an illegal gambling business. Powers also was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the IRS and one count of witness tampering. Dyer, Gedeon, Pulaski and Williams also were charged with obstruction of justice. If convicted, Powers could face a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Pulaski, Gedeon, Williams and Dyer could each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. Sanders could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Woman pleads guilty in $1.2M scam of Bethlehem philanthropist ‘Linny’ Fowler

A woman charged with scamming the late philanthropist Marlene “Linny” Fowler of Bethlehem admitted Monday she stole $1.2 million for casinos and private poker games.  Shawnta Carmon, 32, of Allentown faces up to 19 years in prison for her role in getting the money from Fowler under false pretenses. “She really was friends with Linny Fowler, but there was a betrayal … largely due to the gambling addiction,” Monahan said. Prosecutors say Carmon stole the money under the guise she needed it for dental work, a college education for her niece and medical treatment for a minor child at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital between 2008-2012.  Augustine said, the money was spent on expensive clothes, jewelry, limousine rides and gambling in Bethlehem, the Poconos, Atlantic City, Las Vegas and private homes.

Former university staffer stole $400,000 to feed gambling habit

former long-time Algoma University employee confessed to her employer that she stole about $400,000 from the post-secondary institution to fuel a gambling addiction, a judge heard Monday. Cynthia Jacobs, 54, pleaded guilty to fraud when she appeared in court.  After hearing a brief account of the facts, Judge John Kukurin adjourned sentencing so that a pre-sentence report can be prepared. Jacobs was employed at the university for 34 years, where she was student accounts officers. During the past six to seven years, she defrauded Algoma by taking money that was provided to the university by a number of organizations for tuition, Crown attorney Dana Peterson said.

Caregiver steals from elderly client to fuel gambling addiction

A caregiver for a Cheltenham centenarian will have to spend time in jail for stealing almost $120,000 from the woman’s accounts. Almost half of those funds were used to fuel the caregiver’s gambling addiction, according to court records. Jeanette McMillian, 64, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to nine to 23 months in Montgomery County prison on felony fraud and theft charges. McMillian will also have to serve another five years of probation after completing her parole time, according to the sentence handed to her by Judge Joseph A. Smyth. McMillian will also have to pay $119,241 in restitution to the estate of the woman who died in April 2012 at age 105. The thefts were reported to police in November 2011 after the woman’s lawyer and one of two people who had power of attorney were reviewing the woman’s finances. The pair noticed that a large number of cash withdrawals were made from the woman’s accounts between January 2007 and October 2011, according to court documents.

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