Daily Archives: June 3, 2014

Brief Look at Crime 05/26 – 06/01

Corruption in sport: Criminal gangs launder more than £80 billion a year from illegal betting

Criminal gangs launder more than £80 billion a year from illegal betting on the likes of football and cricket, a landmark study into corruption in sport has found. Published in the wake of Telegraph Sport’s revelations that the most detailed evidence yet of widespread fixing in cricket is being investigated, the International Centre for Sport Security report also claims 80 per cent of gambling is carried out illegally. Based on research carried out by the Doha-based ICSS and Sorbonne University in Paris, the study found [soccer] and cricket were the sports most under threat, with tennis, basketball, badminton and motor racing also targeted. “Betting threatens all countries and regions, with football and cricket the sports most under siege,” said the report, which was also published four days before five men stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court following a Telegraph investigation into an alleged match-fixing scandal that could be English football’s biggest for decades.

Lottery suspends sales at Florida stores 

Eleven stores are being investigated for criminal activity regarding their lottery operations, and have temporarily lost their right to sell tickets, Florida Lottery officials said Thursday. Lottery employees have removed equipment and turned off game terminals at each store. “The contract suspension of these retailers is temporary while the Florida Lottery continues its investigation,” a Florida Lottery news release read. “If the investigation findings show that a crime has taken place, the Florida Lottery will terminate the retailer’s contract, and owners or employees of the stores could face criminal charges.” Lottery officials declined further comment. Seven of the stores are in the Tampa Bay area, and were the subject of an investigation by Naples TV station WFTS. The station reported that of the top 10 scratch-off winners in the Tampa area, nine were store owners. One part owner of seven stores cashed about half of the scratch-offs worth $1,000 or more at those venues.

Bookie stole €590,000 and gambled most of it 

A former manager of Boylesports bookmakers at Castle St in Cork stole almost €600,000 from the shop and gambled most of it through Paddy Power’s website. Detective Garda Padraig Harrington yesterday said Paddy Power became so concerned about the extent of the gambling by Ronan Crowley, aged 33, of Carrig Downs, Carrigtwohill, that it investigated it internally and refused to take any more bets from him. The detective said Paddy Power did not notify management at Boylesports of the matter. The chances of the gambling addict repaying any money was described by the detective as zero. He gambled every day, blowing €398,000 with Paddy Power online.

Gambino Family Administration Member Sentenced to Life Imprisonment 

Earlier today at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Bartolomeo Vernace, a member of the administration of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the Gambino family), was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, plus 10 years. On April 17, 2013, following a five-week jury trial before the Hon. Sandra L. Townes, Vernace was found guilty of a racketeering conspiracy spanning 1978 through 2011. The jury found that Vernace participated in all nine racketeering acts alleged as part of the conspiracy, including the 1981 double homicide of Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese, heroin trafficking, robbery, loansharking, and illegal gambling.

Ex-national manager jailed for $550,000 fraud 

A former national manager of major stevedoring company Patrick, who defrauded it of more than $550,000 that he spent mostly on gambling has been jailed. Mark Allison Howley, 55, was the company’s national procurement manager when he offended between 2004 and 2010 by creating false invoices for new stock items. He pleaded guilty to seven charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception. An investigation into irregularities in 103 false invoices showed transactions to FC5 totalling $554,174, and that for most of them there were no delivery dockets for goods from FC5 at East Swanston Dock or Port Botany. A psychologist reported that Howley’s gambling addiction was essentially in remission. Judge Cotterell jailed Howley for three years and six months and ordered him to serve a minimum of 12 months.

Court-appointed guardian accused of stealing from the vulnerable

A court-appointed guardian charged with stealing money from the people she was tasked with caring for has been sentenced in Clark County District Court to three to eight years in prison. Patience Bristol was arrested in October and accused of stealing over $200,000 in money and property from four vulnerable people for whom she had been appointed guardian. Those she was taking care of, referred to as wards, all had some physical or mental disability that prevented them from handling their own affairs. Representatives of Bristol’s former wards, which included siblings and current guardians, spoke to the court Wednesday detailing the mental and financial hardships brought about by Bristol’s actions. One of the victims is now on state welfare due to the the losses incurred from Bristol, her guardian told the court.Bristol told police during an interview in July she took the wards’ assets to pay for her mortgage and other bills, personal expenses, and her self-admitted gambling problem. According to police reports, Bristol couldn’t tell detectives how much she spent gambling.

17 dogs rescued, 26 people arrested in Florida dogfighting bust

An animal services officer takes a canine to safety after what police raided the largest dog-fighting ring in Apopka history. (Photo credit: WFTV.com) Tuesday night, after a lengthy investigation sparked by an anonymous tip, authorities in Apopka, Florida, initiated a raid on a confirmed dogfighting operation. Apopka Police Department spokesperson Sergeant Kim Walsh tells the Orlando Sentinel that while the men involved in the operation thought of dogfighting as merely a gambling sport, what she and the other officers discovered in the raid would have made most people cringe. “The rest of us would consider this cruel and inhumane,” she says.

When all was said and done, 26 people were arrested, most by force. Seven of those apprehended were injured trying to flee, police say. Four of those detained had to be subdued with a stun gun, and one was caught by a police K-9. The rest hurt themselves by falling as they tried to avoid the police. The children watching the fight, one as young as 5-years-old, have since been released into their grandparents’ custody. “They fought the dogs to the death,” Sgt. Walsh says.

In all, roughly 17 dogs were taken from the property that night. Apopka Police Chief Robert Manley says the dogs were not aggressive with people at all, but behaved as they were trained to, wanting to kill other dogs. “After we broke up the fight, we had one of them caged up and one of them took off running,” Chief Manley says. “As it passed the 15 [to] 20 dogs out there, he kept attacking.” “That’s all these dogs do is attack each other,” he added. “It was very tragic.”

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