Brief Look at Crime 04/14 – 04/27

Man shot, wife tied up in Winter Park home

A man was shot and his wife was tied up, according to neighbors, during an altercation with at least two assailants inside a Winter Park home, deputies said. According to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, a woman was awakened by arguing and fighting between her husband and at least two others. The duo ransacked the house and fired several shots, striking the man, who was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, deputies said.  The man was alert, but his condition is not known. The woman, who was bound with zip ties, ran to a neighbor’s house for help, witnesses said.  She was not injured. Later, she was heard saying, “I thought I was going to die, my husband has been shot.” Investigators said the shooting was a targeted incident, but aren’t sure if the attackers broke into the home or had been invited inside.  It’s unclear if anything was stolen from the home. A neighbor who didn’t want to be identified told Local 6 the victim is an avid gambler. “He just likes to brag about his gambling.  He likes to wear heavy jewelry, gold chains, big rings and stuff like that,” he said.  “They’re pretty eccentric.  He’s a player … his lifestyle is a bit unusual.” The neighbor also told Local 6 that the victim had survived a gunshot wound in the past after being shot by robbers at a gas station.

Woman with gambling debts stole $1.8 million from job

A New Jersey woman is accused of stealing more than $1.8 million from her Allentown-based employer, in part, to pay off her alleged gambling debts. Nelann Quigley, 65, of Watchung, is charged with one felony count of theft by unlawful taking. Prosecutors said Quigley worked at fabric manufacturer Aetna Felt Corporation, located at 2401 W. Emmaus Ave. Aetna Felt owner James Weppler called police Feb. 13 to report $700,000 in business funds had been stolen between January 2012 and January 2014. Further investigation revealed the thefts actually dated back to 2008 and amounted to nearly $2 million, according to an affidavit of probable cause for arrest filed by Allentown police. Police said Weppler turned over copies of about 267 checks that had been written against Aetna Felt’s business account without permission over the past six years. The total loss from the unauthorized checks was determined to be about $1.85 million.

Former Algoma University employee stole $391,000 from post-secondary institution to fuel gambling addiction

Sentencing has been set over for a former long-time Algoma University employee who confessed to her employer she stole approximately $391,000 from the post-secondary institution to fuel a gambling addiction. During the last six to seven years, the Sault Ste. Marie woman defrauded the university by taking money that was provided to the school by a number of organizations for tuition. The fraud occurred between April 1, 2006 and Oct. 1, 2012. A lengthy exchange Monday afternoon at the Sault Ste. Marie courthouse saw defence lawyer Don Orazietti describe his client, a 34-year AU employee whose last post was student accounts officer, under great stress during the time of the fraud. Complaints about an unmanageable workload — enrolment was growing greatly at this time — fell on deaf management ears, Orazietti contended, while a diagnosed gambling addiction spiralled out of control.

Former aide to Obama pal Whitaker pleads guilty

The one-time top aide to former state public health chief Dr. Eric Whitaker pleaded guilty today in a $400,000 federal bribery and kickback scheme on state grants she controlled. Quinshaunta Golden, 45, of Homewood, entered her plea in federal court in a deal where prosecutors agreed to ask a judge to sentence her to no more than 10 years and a month in prison. Golden, the niece of Democratic U.S. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago, admitted to two counts involving bribery, theft, embezzlement and obstruction of justice for trying to cover up her crimes. Golden was Whitaker’s chief of staff when they served together at the Illinois Department of Public Health for several years until late 2007. She had oversight of millions of dollars in grants. As a grand jury probe heated up in February 2012, Golden sought to influence the testimony of the consultant, including urging the individual to say the grant money was used “for gambling and other personal expenses,” prosecutors said.

Official who stole $2M from town to lose pension

A former town finance director who stole more than $2 million from Winchester will not be collecting his pension. Henry Centrella Jr., who was sentenced earlier this month to 11 years in prison, has agreed to the revocation of the pension that would have paid him about $34,000 annually. The revocation was sought by Attorney General George Jepsen who is authorized to seek changes to pensions of public officials convicted of crimes related to their jobs. The order agreed to Friday by Centrella also calls for the $92,000 that he paid into the pension fund to go toward restitution. Any theft from the government is a violation of public trust and Centrella’s actions caused significant hardship for Winchester, Jepsen said Monday. Centrella pleaded guilty in January to five counts of first-degree larceny. Centrella had worked for Winchester since 1977 and was finance director from 1982 until his firing last year. Authorities say Centrella and his wife had gambling losses of more than $500,000 from 2008 through 2012, citing records from casinos including Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.

Woman gets 2 years for misusing $364K for homeless vets

A Nashville woman was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to two years in  prison for defrauding the Veterans Administration of more than $364,000 over three years. Birdie Anderson, 55, received a $80,600 grant from the VA in April 2007 in conjunction with a program to house homeless military veterans. Anderson used the grant to buy a house on Kirk Avenue in East Nashville, but the house was foreclosed upon in 2009.  In accordance with the grant, veterans are to live in the provided homes for no less than seven years. However, the soldiers in Anderson’s care lived in the  home for only about three years because of the foreclosure, Anderson’s attorney, R. David Baker, said during the sentencing.  Anderson received another grant from the VA in May 2007 for $25,000 to buy a specialized van to transport the veterans. She received an additional $258,000 in December 2007 to buy another residence to house homeless vets. However, neither of those grants was used for veterans, but to further Anderson’s gambling addiction, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Hilliard Hester, who prosecuted the case.

Man beats and prostitutes wife to help pay gambling debts

KUALA LUMPUR – A woman ran away from home with her baby after she could not stand being forced by her husband to sleep with other men to help pay his gambling debts, China Press reported. The man was said to have incurred heavy losses and owed people money for the past year for his gambling activities in Kuala Lumpur. Sources said the 26-year-old woman, who has a six-month-old baby, was forced to receive customers even during her pregnancy. When the woman recently found out that she was pregnant again, she refused to sleep with other men. Her husband beat her up until she suffered a miscarriage. Afraid that more harm would come to them, the woman ran away with her baby on April 15. The paper said a police report had been lodged and police were looking for the man.

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