Brief Look at Crime 09/29 – 10/05

Caretaker gambled away $233,000 in stolen cash 

A caretaker who stole $250,000 from a local elderly woman in her care — and then lost nearly all the money gambling — has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. Ana Veronica Hagan, 46, of El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty in Linn County Circuit Court to first-degree criminal mistreatment and two counts of first-degree theft on Sept. 26. She was sentenced the same day, and restitution was set at $250,000. In an e-mail to the newspaper this week, Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Crow said authorities were able to track Hagan’s spending of the victim’s money through financial institutions and a gambling “club card” from New Mexico. “Based on records obtained from the Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino, the defendant lost just over $233,000 gambling,” Crow said.

Ex-office manager sentenced for embezzling $1M

The former office manager of a Milwaukee area talent agency has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $1 million to cover gambling losses. Dikiara was office manager of Talent Associates in Brookfield and later in Menomonee Falls. The agency places musicians and other artists in shows throughout the Midwest. According to court documents, from 1986 to 2012 Dikiara handled the firm’s books and records. The documents say in 1998, she began losing money playing slot machines at Potawatomi Bingo Casino. Court records say to cover her losses, Dikiara wrote checks to herself, using phony vendor names and forging the company president’s name.

Three Men Indicted Over Mob Link To Boston-Area Casino Deal

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted three men on charges they tried to conceal a mob associate’s ownership stake in land near Boston upon which Wynn Resorts has proposed to build a $1.6 billion casino. The Wynn Resorts proposal beat out one by Mohegan Sun for the sole license to operate a casino in Greater Boston last month. “Today’s developments have darkened a cloud which has been lingering for some time over the land transactions necessary for Wynn Resorts’ project in Everett,” Mohegan Sun said in a statement. “We will be monitoring future developments relative to these criminal indictments of people associated with the Wynn Resorts project site in Everett, and any impact they may have on the licensing and regulatory process,” Mohegan Sun said.

Hawaii insurance agent pleads guilty to defrauding senior citizens

Kevin Alan Loux, owner of the Loux Financial Group, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Tuesday to federal wire fraud charges. The 63-year-old licensed independent life insurance and annuity broker, who operated in Hawaii and California, admitted he stole $463,000 from five victims between 2009 through 2014. Headquartered in vacation rentals in San Diego County, California and Princeville, Kauai, Loux targeted senior citizens who were existing clients in his Ponzi Scheme. He spent their money to enhance his lifestyle and to gamble.

Alleged ‘acting boss’ of New England Mafia arrested 

In a federal indictment unsealed today, Anthony “Spucky” Spagnolo was called the “acting boss of the New England Family of the La Cosa Nostra,’’ which is the name the FBI uses for the Mafia. A Revere man today was identified by federal law enforcement officials as the acting head of the New England Mafia as they charged him with extorting tens of thousands of dollars in protection payments from a video poker machine company and a social club. Spagnolo, 72, who is also called “Crazy Eyes,’’ allegedly ordered a “made member’’ of the Mafia identified as 74-year-old Pryce “Stretch” Quintina to collect monthly protection payments from the owners of the video poker machine company, Constitution Vending Co.

Woman who stole $200k from charity loses appeal 

A Wollongong woman who stole almost $200,000 from a hospital charity to feed her gambling addiction has failed to have her jail sentence suspended. Carole Goddard will spend eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to feeding money from the Friends of Wollongong Hospital charity into her own pockets while she was acting as the group’s treasurer over a six-year period. A district court sitting in Sutherland heard Goddard, 56, used the funds to gamble at pubs and clubs throughout the Illawarra, or to pay for rent and household items when she’d blown her weekly wage on the pokies. Police documents presented to the court said Goddard’s scheme only came to light when the group’s secretary, Roslyn Perizzolo, received an anonymous email mid last year detailing the allegations.

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