Brief Look at Crime 12/30 – 01/05

Jehovah’s Witness Family Murdered over ‘Dog Fight Gambling Debt’

Chihuahua police have arrested two suspects for the killing of a family of eight who was stabbed to death in the northern Mexico border city of Ciudad Juarez. Jorge Gonzalez Nicolas, general prosecutor for Chihuahua, said that authorities are also looking for a third suspect. The motive behind the brutal killing is debt for dog fight gambling, according to authorities, although the exact amount of the debt is still unknown. Gonzalez confirmed early suggestions that the family knew their killers – in fact they opened the door for them due to a “common friendship”. No signs of forced entry into the house have been found and the knife used for the murder was allegedly from the kitchen. The victims, who included two 4-year-olds (Abril Romero and Valeria Lara Castañeda) and a 6-year-old (Daniel Romero Castañeda), were found with tape over their mouths and their hands tied. The oldest, named as María del Carmen Morales Infante, was aged 60.  In total two men, three women and three children were slaughtered. A three-month-old girl in the house was found alive. One of the victims, Maximo Martin Romero Sánchez – nicknamed Max – aged 27, sold used cars at his home and may have had cash with him at the time of the killing. The eight were found on Sunday morning after they did not attend a Jehovah’s Witness meeting and congregation members became concerned.

Woman accused of stealing $210K from film fest

A 67-year-old woman accused of embezzling more than $210,000 from the Breckenridge Festival of Film has been arrested. The Summit Daily News reports Dawna Foxx was arrested Thursday on multiple charges of forgery and theft. She is accused of stealing $20,000 from her husband, $16,000 from her husband’s business partner and more than $210,000 from the film festival. Police Detective Alex Blank says he investigated Foxx’s financial activity between 2007 and 2012 and found she “forged documents and spent others’ money for personal gain.” He says she used fraudulent checks and credit cards to pay for personal items, including clothing, rental cars, airline tickets, gambling and gardening supplies. Foxx was the film festival’s executive director from late 2004 to 2012.

Elderly woman killed in shootout by armed robbers over gambling money

A 76-year-old South Carolina woman who managed an illegal gambling hall died in a shootout with armed robbers, authorities said. Three thieves ambushed Dorothy “Dot” Hendrix as she pulled up to her house, Anderson County Sheriff’s Lt. Sheila Cole told the Daily News. “It looks like they were waiting for her,” Cole said. Sheriff’s deputies in South Carolina searched an unmarked storefront following the fatal shooting of Dorothy Hendrix, 76, and found about 15 video gambling machines. Hendrix ran an off-the-books gaming center, and investigators suspect the attackers thought she’d be carrying a lot of cash from the business. “This was not a random act,” Sheriff John Skipper said in a statement. “The robbery was planned and she was specifically targeted. The trio had knowledge that Hendrix carried large sums of money home with her at night.”

Veterans charity scandal mastermind suspended from practicing law

The Florida Bar says they suspended one of the masterminds of the Veterans charity scandal in early December, after he was found guilty of being involved in numerous illegal acts.  The Florida Bar was tasked with handing down the suspension to attorney Kelly Mathis. Mathis was found guilty in October of 103 counts in connection with a multimillion-dollar illegal gambling scheme that revolved around Internet cafes. Mathis faces seven to 320 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced  at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 12. Some 17 other attorneys were also suspended from practicing law in the state for various reasons, according to a press release from the Florida Supreme Court.

Woman charged with leaving child unattended in car

Anne Arundel County police have arrested a woman they say left her 4-year-old child alone in a car in a garage at Maryland Live! Casino. Police say casino security officers saw the child alone and crying in the vehicle about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police were called, and officers say the vehicle had arrived about 10 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities say the child was taken to a local hospital. Police say the child was hungry and cold, but showed no signs of physical abuse. Officers say a woman arrived at the car and said she was the child’s mother. Twenty-four-year-old Alicia Denice Brown of Baltimore was charged with second-degree child abuse, confined unattended child under 8 years old, and neglect of a minor. The child was released to a relative.

Angry Wife Helps Annihilate Illegal Pool Gambling Ring

A woman from Staten Island became the star of the latest casino gambling news after she got fed up with her husband’s gambling habits and blew the whistle on the illegal pool betting operation he was part of. The real money pool betting operation was being run from a Staten Island bar. “My husband spends all his money on these pools and not on our children,” she complained to the NY State Liquor Authority (SLA), in an attempt to put an end to his counterproductive pastime. The angry housewife claimed a local bar was running a $1 million illegal betting business and, according to the NY Post, she was outraged by the fact that the SLA allowed it. While online and mobile sportsbooks are illegal in the state of New York, punters still have the option to turn to licensed sport betting operators. However, gambling in establishments with a liquor license is forbidden under NY state laws.

Woman Charged with Stealing $240,000 from Woodbury Employer

A Cottage Grove woman has been charged with stealing more than $240,000 from a Woodbury business while working as its account manager. Carol Ann Scott, 47, is charged with felony theft, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. According to the criminal complaint, a Woodbury police detective was notified in early September of an employee theft from the Oral Surgery Center. The company’s office manager told police the business’ main office is located in Woodbury, but the company has a number of satellite offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin. All of the company’s cash payments were handled by the office manager and by Scott, who worked as the company’s account manager. The office manager cleaned Scott’s office after she was fired, and discovered a win-loss sheet from Treasure Island casino, dated Feb. 2, 2013. The report detailed Scott’s winnings and losses between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012: $8,879 in winnings and $30,521 in losses, according to the complaint. Investigators determined that Scott stole $240,207 from the Oral Surgery Center, the complaint charges.

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