Brief Look at Crime 03/10 – 03/16

Brantford woman to be sentenced in $400,000 fraud

A Brantford woman, who defrauded a local company of at least $400,000 over a period of eight years by making almost daily use of a company-issued credit card, will be sentenced in March. Denise White, 56, pleaded guilty in Ontario Court in October to one count of fraud over $5,000 in connection with her misappropriation of funds at Terra Con Underground Ltd., where she had worked as the sewer contracting firm’s office manager. From 2006 to 2013, White used a company credit card with her name on it for purchases at gas stations, restaurants, department stores and at the casino. The fraud had a profound effect on both the company and its owners, said Terra Con Underground president Angelo Puglisi. “Our trust and loyalty were betrayed,” he said in a victim-impact statement read aloud to the court. The impact of the fraud left its owners feeling humiliated, defeated, stressed and paranoid, Puglisi said.

Gambler racks up $12.9 million debt, indictment in Las Vegas

A Canadian real estate businessman was indicted by a grand jury on charges he failed to pay back $12.9 million in gambling debts to two Las Vegas casinos, Clark County prosecutors Wednesday. Semion Kronenfeld faces 12 counts, including theft and obtaining money under false pretenses, for not paying off $7.9 million in markers to the Venetian resort and $5 million in markers to the Green Valley Ranch Resort, according to the seven page indictment. The case has languished in Las Vegas Justice Court since Kronenfeld was first charged in 2008. According to the Toronto Star, Kronenfeld, who is in his 40s, declared bankruptcy in 2009, blaming the global recession. He also blamed his more than $21 million in gambling debts at casinos across North America for their constant incentives to gamble.

 Illegal gambling site evaded taxes on NIS 4.5 billion

Fourteen people were recently indicted on tax evasion offenses related to unreported income of over NIS 4.5 billion derived from an illegal gambling website, it was announced Sunday.  The men, residents of central Israel and Haifa, were all connected with illegal website Donbet.com which operated between 2009-2012, and allowed Israelis to place bets on sporting events throughout the world. All were indicted in late 2013 on offenses related to illegal gambling and money-laundering.  The amended indictments, which now include tax evasion offenses, were filed against the four owners of the website, nine bookies connected with it and one alleged money-laundering accomplice. The website featured extensive betting operations on soccer games, horse racing, and blackjack. Every day thousands of gamblers bet hundreds of thousands of dollars that were cleared through Israeli bank accounts.

Auburn woman who faked cancer to bilk retiree faces prison

An Auburn woman who bilked a trusting retiree out of $400,000 by claiming she was battling cancer will serve 18 months in federal prison if prosecutors have their way. Scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, Julie Ann Dahlquist previously admitted to fleecing the 78-year-old man, who believed he was helping her pay medical bills. Instead, Dahlquist was gambling away the man’s life savings while also collecting welfare payments she obtained through fraud. Dahlquist also stole $17,000 in government benefits meant to help the needy by claiming an “anxiety disorder” made it impossible to work. In truth, she was spending her days gambling away the money she was stealing. Describing the fraud as “truly outrageous,” Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Wilkinson said the thefts deeply shook the man Dalhquist duped.

Golf course gambling probe has Florida duffers teed off

Cops in one Florida Gulf Coast town would get no respect from Rodney Dangerfield’s “Caddyshack” character, Al Czervik. They’re cracking down on the kind of golf course gambling that was the late funnyman’s specialty in the 1980 classic, telling duffers at the Tarpon Springs Golf Course wagers cannot be par for the course. Police are currently conducting an investigation into whether club officials collected money from members to fund a tournament purse, Gold Digest reported.  The Tampa Bay Times reported that Winship’s course may be in violation of two statutes including keeping a gambling house and game promotion in connection with the sale of consumer products of services.  “It is an ongoing criminal investigation at this point,” Tarpon Springs police spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Young told the newspaper. “I don’t expect it to be a long, drawn-out thing. I know it was started by a letter we received.”Under Florida law, it is a misdemeanor to “bet on result of…contest of skill, etc.”  It reportedly goes on to say “whoever…wagers any money…upon the result of any…contest of skill… shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.”

Children Left in Cars While Parents Gamble

At least seven children have been found abandoned in cars outside Maryland casinos since the beginning of 2013, according to a review of state records by the News4 I-Team.  In some cases, the children were left unattended in extreme cold and sweltering heat. The most recent cases include a child left unattended in a car at the Hollywood Casino in Cecil County in January, and a young child left alone in a car outside Maryland Live! Casino in Anne Arundel County on New Year’s Eve.  In the latter case, the child’s mother, Alicia Brown, was charged with abuse.  Police said Brown left her 4-year-old daughter alone for eight hours in the garage, while gambling inside.   The girl was found hungry, cold and crying, according to police reports. “Unfortunately, some parents have a gambling addiction that is so strong, they will sacrifice the safety of their children by leaving them alone in a vehicle,” President of KidsAndCars Janette Fennell told News4. The News4 I-Team review found at least two children left unattended outside Ocean Downs Casino on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in August 2013, when the high temperature averaged 82 degrees.

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

 

 

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