Brief Look at Crime 10/28 – 11/03

2 dead, 2 injured in shooting at possible cockfight in rural Miami-Dade

Police are investigating whether a possible cockfighting ring led to a shooting that left two men dead and two others injured Sunday night in southwest Miami-Dade County. Gunshots rang out about 7:40 p.m. Sunday behind a yellow home in the 19600 block of Southwest 168th Street, a rural, agricultural area dotted with farms and nurseries. The shootings happened in a structure behind the home, Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said.  Investigators say the shooting may have stemmed from a cockfighting ring in the area.

One dead, 2 injured in Vegas casino shooting

One person is dead and two others have been wounded in a shooting in a Las Vegas Strip nightclub inside Bally’s casino, Las Vegas Metro police said. Police Lt. Jay Roberts told the Associated Press that a suspect is in custody and the victims were taken to University Medical Center. Roberts says the shooting happened before 6 a.m. (9 a.m. ET) Monday at Drai’s, an after-hours club. FOX5 TV in Las Vegas, citing a witness at the scene, said a fight broke out inside Drai’s nightclub at Bally’s Hotel and Casino. The suspect was asked to leave, which led the person to pull out a gun and shoot three hosts, FOX5 reported. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the shooter, who was jumped on by patrons after opening fire, also was taken to UMC. He will be booked at Clark County Detention Center after his release from the hospital, the Review-Journal said.

Mother & Daughter Caught Gambling leaving 5 Children in Car

A mother and daughter were arrested Friday night after Hallandale Beach Police found five unsupervised children in a parked car at the Gulfstream Casino. Angela Pond, 37, and Esharia Pond, 21, were each charged with five counts of child neglect after a Gulfstream security guard found the children, ranging from 1 to 11 years of age, inside a car parked in the south lot, according to Hallandale Beach Police. Two of the children found in the car are Angela Pond’s and the other three are her daughter’s, police said. Detectives said the car was still running with the key in the ignition when the children were found. Surveillance video shows the children were left alone for about 32 minutes, according to police. The five children were placed in the custody of their grandmother/great-grandmother.

Woman pleads no contest to $225k theft

Mukwonago resident Victoria T. Boivin pleaded no contest on Monday, Oct. 7 to three counts of felony business theft, having been accused in June of draining a Brookfield business expense account of more than $225,000 in less than four years. Two more counts of felony theft and one count of misdemeanor theft were dismissed, but will be taken into account for her sentencing on Dec. 9. According to the criminal complaint, City of Brookfield Police were first alerted to the thefts in June 2012. A financial accountant for Brookfield-based Management Research services said that Boivin, 53, had spent more than $5,000 on personal expenses using two company-issued credit cards. Furthermore, she had written to herself 329 fraudulent checks totalling $225,721 from May 2009 to May 2012. Brookfield Police suspected that Boivin had a gambling addiction and subpoened Potawatomi Bingo Casino records. The records showed that Boivin had gambled away more than $100,000 between 2008 and 2012, the complaint states.

Man commits suicide by jumping from Showboat Casino garage

A 19-year-old Neptune man died after falling from a casino parking garage in Atlantic City Wednesday night. Police responded to the Showboat Casino garage, at 11:46 p.m., on Delaware Avenue for reports of a male who jumped, said police Sgt. Monica McMenamin. The man was alive when police and EMS arrived but succumbed to his injuries after being taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus, McMenamin said. Police have ruled the incident as suicide and not releasing the man’s identity.

Man Sentenced to 5 Years for Bilking Investors

A San Jose, California man has been sentenced to five years prison time and five years probation for defrauding investors in order to pay off his gambling debts. Thomas R. Papa, 56, represented himself as a money manager for a company called MTJJ via Craigslist.  He would tell potential clients that he could broker deals for property and business loans through private investors. “Private loans are a common vehicle for con artists to scam people out of large amounts of money,” said prosecutor Katharina Wells. “If the loan terms sound too good to be true, it is likely a scam.” Papa had collected over a half million dollars to pay off his gambling debts.  He did manage to pay back approximately $197,500 to some of the victims before charges were filed in June 2012, Wells said. Papa pleaded no contest to nine counts of felony fraud last February.

Former Red Bank attorney gets 10 years for stealing from clients

A former Red Bank attorney was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for embezzling thousands of dollars from former clients and stealing land from the estate of a deceased woman.  As part of a plea agreement, Alexander Iler, 39, of Atlantic Highlands, was also ordered to pay more than $530,000 in a civil judgment and is banned from New Jersey casinos.  “The reality is he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients,” Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Fried said in court.  During the proceeding, Iler stood in the jury box with his hands shackled to his waist. He told the judge his family was been destroyed and that over the past year he only held his 7-year-old child for two hours and his 3-year-old child for 90 minutes.  “My entire life that I had before this is gone, and probably rightfully so,” Iler said. However, Iler also said that checking into a gambling program before his arrest was a wake up call. “I needed to be arrested,” Iler said. “I was headed straight for suicide or something terrible.”

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