Brief Look at Crime 10/06 – 10/12

Ex-councilman gets 50 to 132 months in thefts

A former suburban Philadelphia councilman who acknowledged having stolen almost $3 million for gambling has been sentenced to 50 to 132 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution. The former Collingdale councilman pleaded guilty in July to forgery and theft charges in the theft of $2.9 million over 10 years from Wescott Electric in Aston. Bryan said he was “truly sorry” for what he called actions that “destroyed people’s lives.” Defense attorney Michael Diamondstein said his client “is going to live for the rest of his life feeling horrible about what he did.”

Man Sentenced to Death for Double Murder had Gambling Addiction 

An Indian man who committed a 2012 double murder in the US will be sentenced to death by the Montgomery County Court in Pennsylvania. The 28-year-old IT professional, Raghunandan Yandamuri, was convicted of killing his Satyavathi Venna, 61, and her 10-month-old granddaughter, Saanvi Venna, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.  Prosecutors claim the man plotted to kidnap the child for ransom to help pay for his gambling addiction. The jury of five women and seven men deliberated for nearly four hours on Tuesday to determine his life sentence without the possibility of parole.  Formal sentencing will take place in 45 days.

Health dept. accountant pleads guilty to $1M theft

A former state health department accountant pleaded guilty to felony theft by fraud and malfeasance in office Thursday, admitting that she stole more than $1 million from Louisiana’s Medicaid program in what the state Attorney General’s Office said was a scheme that footed the bill for a serious gambling addiction. Deborah Crowder Loper, 47, entered the plea in state court in Baton Rouge. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office said Loper used much of the money at Baton Rouge area casinos. Under a plea agreement detailed in a news release from Caldwell’s office, Loper is set to receive a 10-year prison sentence, with five years suspended, and five years of active supervised probation. She has also agreed to pay a little more than $1 million in restitution to the State of Louisiana.

Wrentham woman arraigned on charges she embezzled $2.7 million

A former longtime employee of a local medical supply company pleaded innocent Wednesday in Dedham Superior Court to stealing about $2.7 million from the business over a seven-year period to go on gambling stints and shopping sprees. The married mother of three and lifelong resident of Wrentham is accused of stealing from Dale Medical Products in Plainville while she was a bookkeeper at the company, where she held a number of jobs for more than 20 years. Richard, who allegedly went on gambling trips to Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., and shopping sprees at area retails businesses and online, was fired from the company in April after the alleged thefts were uncovered in a company audit.

Hyderabad painter throttles wife to death 

A 40-year-old woman was murdered reportedly by her husband after an argument broke out between them over the latter’s addiction to gambling, at Chinnakamela in Trimulgherry. Though the incident happened on Saturday night, it came to light on Sunday when the victim’s children lodged a complaint with police. The deceased, Tara, was working as a domestic help and her husband, Narasimha, is a painter. On Saturday night, Narasimha informed his brother, who also stays in the neighbourhood, that Tara had committed suicide by hanging. “When Narasimha’s brother and family members rushed to the former’s house, they found Tara lying unconscious on the bed. They took her to a nearby hospital where she was declared brought dead,” Trimulgherry inspector P Ravi Kiran said. After the incident, Narasimha informed his son Mahesh, an auto driver, and daughter Kalpana, who reside in other parts of the city, that Tara had committed suicide and she was buried at Subhash Nagar graveyard. However, as Narasimha was giving contradictory versions about their mother’s death, the children grew suspicious and lodged a complaint with police. During interrogation, Narasimha reportedly confessed that he had killed Tara by throttling her after an argument broke out between them over his addiction to satta betting.

Bank manager accused of embezzling $5.2 million 

A former U.S. Bank manager is accused of embezzling more than $5.2 million from the bank branch she managed. According to an affidavit or criminal complaint offered by a special agent of the U.S. Secret Service, Scarpelli as branch manager was responsible for overseeing or authorizing loans to businesses based on lines of credit. In April 2014, Scarpelli’s trash was searched, and Hollywood Casino paperwork with a player’s card number, among other items, was found, the agent’s report said. According to a search of her state tax records, Scarpelli reported gambling winnings of $93,390 in 2011 and more than $1.1 million in 2012, the complaint said.

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