Brief Look at Crime 10/13 – 10/19

Grandview man accused of extorting $3 million 

A local businessman thought that the $3 million he’d paid to a Grandview man had been spent bribing judges and paying off lawyers in pending drug cases. But he was so wrong, according to federal prosecutors. Instead, the 39-year-old Grandview man spent the money gambling in Las Vegas, purchasing high-end automobiles and buying luxury items from Gucci, according to federal court records released Monday. Authorities accused Lewis of money laundering and making exortionate communications. The scam began in July 2012, when Lewis allegedly agreed to sell the local businessman $3,000 worth of cocaine. After that deal fell through, Lewis said that his drug source had assessed a $10,000 “penalty” against the businessman. The businessman paid it, expecting to receive the cocaine. He eventually received a bag of flour instead, according to court records.

Woman who stole millions from Housing Trust in Wollongong jailed 

As a data entry clerk, Agtarap’s job at the trust  was to handle day-to-day  transactions including managing the payroll, transferring  funds into different bank accounts and preparing financial reports. In reality, Agtarap siphoned money from the trust  between November 2006 and April 2013 by changing the data on the trust’s online banking system so payments intended for internal transfer, or transfer to a third party, flowed to her bank account. The thefts succeeded even though two managers had to enter approval codes  for the transactions to go ahead. Agtarap then simply withdrew the money and poured it through poker machines across the Illawarra and Sydney, gambling more than $21million between 2006 and 2013.

DA says disbarred attorney stole $107K from estate

A western Pennsylvania attorney who agreed to be disbarred in July has been charged with stealing $107,000 from the estate of a woman killed in a car crash. Online court records don’t list an attorney for 64-year-old Kirby Boring, of Franklin Park. He faces an Oct. 21 preliminary hearing on charges announced Thursday by the Allegheny County district attorney’s office. The DA says Boring deposited a $190,000 settlement check that another attorney won in a lawsuit stemming from the woman’s death. But instead of using the money to cover estate costs, the DA contends Boring — who has told investigators he has a gambling problem — spent $107,000.

Joburg man fakes own kidnapping to pay off debt

Police are investigating the case of a Johannesburg man who allegedly faked his own kidnapping in order to extort money from his family to pay off gambling debts. According to Douglasdale police spokesperson Warrant Officer Balan Muthan, the man had sent an SMS to his family – who were visiting family in KwaZulu-Natal – saying he had been kidnapped in Turffontein by casino loan sharks who wanted him to pay them R1 million, Fourways Review reported. The man had asked his wife to gather as much money as she could from their family members, so he could “at least give the loan sharks something to dissuade them from killing him”.

Man with mob ties receives prison time as part of plea on gambling ring

Johnston resident prosecutors describe as a mob associate will serve more than three years in prison as part of a plea agreement entered in Superior Court this week. Vincent “Tootsie” Tallo, 53, with a last known address of 12 Poppyhill Drive in Johnston, entered a plea of no contest on charges he operated an illegal gambling ring. Under the terms of the agreement, he was sentenced to 20 years with 40 months to serve, and the remainder of the sentence was suspended with probation. “Hollywood may have glamorized the mob lifestyle, but Vinny Tallo is nothing more than a common criminal hanging on to the fantasy of being in the game with a ‘made guy.’ There is nothing glamorous about selling drugs, bookmaking or prison,” Attorney General Peter Kilmartin states in a press release.

Former general manager jailed for conspiracy to cheat company of $4 million

A district court heard that Teo conspired with various vendors and individuals to issue fake invoices to deceive Newtech into making payments totalling $4 million. Newtech provides mechanical and electrical engineering services. While the company’s accounts were being reviewed in July 2011, it was discovered that there were 101 invoices received from “vendors” between February 2010 and June 2011, for services that had not been given. There were also 94 false purchase orders that Teo had requested and approved. Investigations showed that Teo was a frequent gambler at the Resorts World Sentosa casino, and often borrowed money from his fellow gamblers. To repay his loans and satisfy his gambling addiction, he cooked up a plan to work with others to submit fictitious invoices for non-existent services.

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