Brief Look at Crime 06/02 – 06/08

1 man killed, at least 3 others wounded in gunfire

One man was killed and at least three others wounded in a shooting in Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue district, authorities said. A fifth person later showed up at Grady Memorial Hospital, and police believe he was also at the scene of the gunfire around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. It happened in the street near the intersection of Auburn Avenue and Bell Street, just east of downtown Atlanta. “An officer on patrol was flagged down in regards to some people that had been shot,” Atlanta police Capt. Paul Guerrucci said. The shooting was touched off by an argument over gambling taking place in the area that morning, Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.One of the wounded men was critically injured, and two others are expected to survive, police told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Police identify man killed, another critically wounded in north side shooting

A man killed and other critically wounded in a shooting on Indianapolis’ north side Monday night have been identified. Police said William Watson, 42, was pronounced dead and Robert Johnson, Jr., 41, was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition. Officers responded to the 3000 block of Winthrop Avenue on a report of a person lying in the alley. When they arrived, they found the men suffering from gunshot wounds. Detectives preliminarily believe both men were possibly involved in an illegal gambling game just prior to the shooting.

Gambling bookkeeper who stole $2m jailed

A bookkeeper who stole more than $2 million from his employer and blew it all gambling on poker machines has been sentenced to almost seven years in jail. But Jason George McGregor was told by a County Court judge he was lucky to still have his wife and three children in his corner after leaving them debt-ridden and “in penury”. McGregor, 40, pleaded guilty to six counts of obtaining property by deception related to 364 transactions he made from his employer’s bank account over a five-year period from April 2008. Judge Ryan said McGregor first began gambling as a young man, was forced into bankruptcy, and continued betting in a bid to free himself of his debts. He had since been declared bankrupt a second time. Judge Ryan said he had been told that in recent years McGregor effectively lived two lives: one as a husband and father, and the other as a chronic gambler – at both Crown Casino and online – who drank up to three bottles of wine a night and developed chronic depression. McGregor, the court heard, lost almost all of the $2.148 million he stole from his employer, and had nothing to show for his gambling but debts. 

Woman pleads guilty in Breckenridge fest theft

A woman accused of stealing more than $200,000 from the Breckenridge Festival of Film has pleaded guilty to felony theft and misdemeanor forgery. District Attorney Bruce Brown of the Fifth Judicial District says 67-year-old Dawna Foxx entered her pleas on Monday. She faces up to six years in prison on the theft charge when she is sentenced on Aug. 11. Foxx was arrested in November and accused of stealing more than $210,000 from the nonprofit film festival, for which she worked as executive director from 2004 to 2012. She also was accused of stealing $20,000 from her husband and $16,000 from her husband’s business partner. An arrest warrant affidavit stated that Foxx spent money at casinos and for rental vehicles, airline flights, clothing and other items.

Ex-Palms race book worker sentenced in fraud case

A 31-year-old former race and sports book ticket writer at the Palms Casino Resort has been sentenced to three years’ probation and to repay a portion of about $232,000 in restitution for her role in what federal authorities say was an $800,000 betting fraud case. Kassie Baker could have faced up to 21 months in prison on Thursday for pleading guilty last year to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Former race and sports book supervisors Michael Albanese and Matthew Kidle, and bettor Charles Pecchio have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from actions between 2006 and 2007. 

FBI, IRS find $3 million company theft at Santa Ana company

The former controller of an Irvine company has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $3 million from his company to feed a gambling addiction. In a plea agreement, 37-year-old Steven Hagstrom pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of embezzlement. The defense attorney tells The Orange County Register that Hagstrom transferred money from Sentinel Offender Services’ bank accounts to a “clearinghouse” account, then to his own personal accounts. Hagstrom will be sentenced in September. Prosecutors say they will recommend between three and six years. Court documents show Hagstrom embezzled $2.26 million in 2012 and another $1.07 million in the first four months of 2013. In April of 2013, the FBI and Internal Revenue Service discovered the possible theft and told the company about it.

Ex-manager conned old colleagues of $900k to feed gambling habit

A former manufacturing firm manager was jailed for seven years on Wednesday after he conned his ex-colleagues and a cousin out of almost $900,000 to feed his gambling habit. Soh Meng Yeow left a “trail of destruction”, District Judge Eddy Tham said. After quitting his job with Oshkosh-JLG Singapore Technology Equipment in August 2011, the 49-year-old promised his victims quick returns if they invested in equipment for a company dealing with the medical and construction sectors. However it did not exist, and when their repayments were due Soh issued them dud cheques. He promised to pay them following the sale of his flat in July 2012, but became uncontactable soon after.

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