Brief Look at Crime 07/14 – 07/20

1 dead in high stakes gambling operation robbery

One man was killed, a second was in critical condition after a shooting Thursday night, police said. Stafford police said they were called to a business park on Greenbriar Drive and Trinity Drive just after 8:30 p.m. When they arrived, police said they not only found one man dead and a second man shot, but they also uncovered a gaming operation that was moving a lot of money. Investigators said dozens of people were inside. “They’re saying a high-stakes gambling was going on here at this location,” Lt. James Leedom of SPD said. Leedom said the suspects may have been gambling or may have stormed the high-stakes gambling operation. He said, “Apparently they tried to rob this gambling session that was going on here.”

Houston grand jury hands down commercial gambling indictments 

A Houston County grand jury has returned two separate indictments involving commercial gambling in which illegal cash winnings were allegedly paid out at Warner Robins convenience and other retail stores. Nearly $800,000 generated from the alleged criminal enterprises was used to buy homes and improve property, prosecutors contend. One indictment that includes 47 counts accuses three people of racketeering and commercial gambling related to the illegal payout of money instead of prizes for winnings on state-sanctioned video gambling machines. The indictments followed a series of raids by Warner Robins police targeting commercial gambling in which cash was illegally paid out.

Thousands arrested for World Cup gambling

Police in Thailand said on Tuesday they had arrested 5,064 people for illegal gambling during the World Cup, a sharp increase from four years ago. As well as 4,679 gamblers, the authorities detained 258 bookmakers and 127 betting slip runners since the tournament kicked off in Brazil on June 12. If convicted, those arrested could face up to two years in prison and a 2,000 baht (Dh228) fine. But most are expected to receive suspended jail terms, except in cases where particularly large sums of money are involved, said Police Major General Chantavit Ramsut. In addition, more than 2,000 football gambling websites have been shut down, police said. Thailand’s new junta is cracking down on gambling in general in a bid to “uphold social order” in the kingdom, where most forms of betting are outlawed.

International mob-connected ring linked to illegal World Cup betting at Caesars 

An FBI-led raid has shut down a multimillion-dollar illegal sports betting operation at Caesars Palace that authorities say was run by Malaysian and Chinese nationals who were taking wagers on the World Cup soccer tournament. Authorities have linked one of the ringleaders, Paul Phua, to a well-known Chinese crime syndicate. Phua, 50, a prominent poker player and wealthy Malaysian businessman, and his son Darren Wai Kit Phua, 22, were among eight people arrested by FBI agents over the weekend. In a criminal complaint unsealed Monday, Las Vegas FBI Agent Minh Pham said the elder Phua, who was charged under the name Wei Seng Phua, was “known by law enforcement to be a high-ranking member of the 14K Triad,” one of the largest criminal syndicates in the world. Hong Kong-based 14K Triad specializes in drug trafficking and traditional forms of criminal activity, including illegal gambling, prostitution and loan sharking.

Ex-Pa. official admits $3M theft, gambling woes

A former councilman from suburban Philadelphia admits he stole nearly $3 million from his employer and spent it gambling. Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan says James Bryan spent so much money on lottery tickets that “it was almost a full-time job” to keep track of them. Court records show the former Collingdale official also spent the money at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino, and to bet on sports. The Delaware County Times reports that he pleaded guilty Monday to forgery and felony theft for a 10-year fraud scheme involving his employer, Wescott Electric in Aston. Defense lawyer Michael Diamondstein says Bryan is undergoing mental health treatment.

Woman charged with staging husband’s suicide

An Ohio woman who called 911 to report that her husband committed suicide by suffocating himself has been charged with his 2011 murder. A three-year investigation into the death of 55-year-old Michael Gabel concluded that he didn’t commit suicide and that his wife, Jeane Harrington, had killed him, police said. She had reported Gabel’s death to police, saying she found him dead with plastic wrap around his head. “We know that suicide in this manner is very unusual,” Duane Streator, police chief of Avon Lake, told reporters Friday. Streator said there was no immediate evidence of a struggle, but the Lorain County coroner ultimately determined Gabel died of asphyxiation, blows to his head and body, and electrical burns. Divorce filings indicated Harrington’s pay at the Avon Public Library gift shop had been halved and that Gabel had used money from a 401(k) account and from mortgaging the couple’s rental property to pay gambling debts.

Multi-state Dog Fighting Enterprise Shut Down

67 dogs were rescued with the assistance of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States. Washington DC – infoZine – In 2011, the FBI Mobile Field Office had received some disturbing reports about a possible high-stakes dog fighting and gambling enterprise based in Alabama with activities spanning several nearby states. So in April of that year, the Bureau—in conjunction with our law enforcement partners in those states—opened an investigation. By August 2013, this broad and coordinated investigative effort—which involved sophisticated techniques like court-authorized wiretaps and confidential sources—had led to the indictment and arrest of 10 individuals on federal dog fighting and gambling charges. Several others were subsequently charged. A key figure in this group of co-conspirators, Donnie Anderson, recently pled guilty in the case. In addition, nine others involved have pled guilty thus far.

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