Brief Look at Crime 12/01 – 12/07

Compulsive gambling linked to embezzlement

Gambling addiction often plays out in private, away from media coverage. When it does break into view, the reason often is embezzlement. Marquet International, a Boston investigative and consulting firm specializing in corporate fraud, conducts an annual study of major embezzlement cases nationwide. Last year, it analyzed 528 cases in 2012 and identified the primary motive in 132 cases. The second most common motive was gambling; the first “desire for a lavish lifestyle.” “Gambling continues to be a factor for many embezzlers,” the 2012 report said, adding, “All but two of the 37 gambling cases occurred in states where casinos and/or Indian gaming facilities are permitted. Marquet International concluded that Oklahoma is one of 15 states that have the “highest risk for major embezzlement,” with projected losses of $36 million in Oklahoma in the next five years.

Casino worker faces robbery charges

The employee who allegedly stole more than $130,000 at gunpoint from the BlueWater Resort & Casino faces charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery, according to a criminal complaint. The federal charges – three counts of assault with a weapon and one count of armed robbery – were filed against Vladimir Quintana, 25, on Nov. 27, a day after he allegedly robbed the casino at gunpoint, fleeing with a duffel bag full of cash and leading local police in a car chase. Quintana allegedly entered the casino at around 3:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning, carrying an AR-15 assault rifle and wearing dark pants, a dark hooded sweatshirt and a mask covering his face, according to the complaint. He proceeded to the casino vault, where he forced two casino security officers to open the doors and a vault cashier to place cash into a duffle bag he brought with him. Police from the Colorado River Indian Tribes responded to the casino after the robbery. One of the officers spotted the suspect in a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado and attempted to stop him, but Quintana reportedly sped off and continued to accelerate as the officer pursued him. The police eventually stopped and detained Quintana.

Men charged in gambling bust to forfeit $20 million

Two men charged in connection to the biggest gambling ring bust in the state’s history were back in court Monday. Bob Mosley and his son-in-law Michael Caldwell faced a judge. It comes more than a year after a grand jury indicted them stating the two made almost $400 million running gambling houses across the nation. Agents seized truck-loads full of evidence from their Anderson and Greenville county homes and offices last fall. Investigators say the two men served as the bank and supplier to more than 600 gaming Internet cafes from coast to coast. Mosley pleaded guilty to separate felonies for himself and his company. He said his company laundered money while he owned and operated an illegal gambling business. Caldwell pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of transporting illegal gaming machines across state lines. Both men agreed to forfeit a total of $20 million.

Second guilty plea in $76-million gambling ring investigation

A man charged in connection with a multi-million dollar gambling ring has accepted a plea deal. Joe Ruff pleaded guilty to gambling, extortion, money laundering and conspiracy in federal court. His brother, Mark Ruff, previously admitted he helped launder money from a $230,000 check and plead guilty to money laundering, conspiracy and illegal gambling. News10NBC previously reported that $230,000 check came from the New York Islanders hockey club while Thomas Vankek played for them. Ruff faces 41 months in prison when sentenced on March 20, 2015.

Pokie addict rips off employer for $167,000

GAMBLING addiction drove a bookkeeper to rip off her Toowoomba employer for more than $167,000 over a six-month period. Dallas Maree Peterson, 32, had been hired by C&C Machining and Engineering from November, 2012, Toowoomba District Court was told. Her duties included paying supplier accounts, wages and other invoices and only she and the company’s financial controller had access to the internet banking account, Crown prosecutor David Jones said. However, just days after her departure an office manager had tried to order materials from various suppliers only to find the company’s credit had been stopped due to unpaid accounts. An audit of the company’s books was then conducted and found a number of discrepancies. The audit found a total 81 unauthorized transactions in which Peterson had transferred money into her bank accounts to the tune of $167,052.80. Transactions had ranged from small amounts to the largest single amount of $12,149.72. When found and spoken to by police in Gladstone in November, last year, Peterson admitted her offending, telling officers she had developed a gambling problem.

Pro Golfer Claims His Former Lawyer Stole $3 Million From Him To Help Pay Off Gambling Debts

A golfer is suing his former attorney and his law firm for allegedly stealing $3 million from him that was supposed to be an investment. Dustin Johnson’s former attorney, Nathan “Nat” Hardwick, has been accused of blowing the money on gambling debts, among other things. Actually, Hardwick allegedly misappropriated $30 million altogether, which he denies. The Globe and Mail reported that Johnson claims his former attorney and adviser for his foundation approached him this past summer about a loan to the Atlanta-based law firm of Morris Hardwick Schneider. Johnson said he was told the money was going to be for a “really good investment.”

Grandma Gambling Away Stolen $250k

An Auckland, New Zealand grandmother has been sentenced to one year home detention after stealing $200,000 from her employer to help support her gambling addiction. Lorena Marie Bailey, 58, was employed at Epicurean Dairy Ltd where she was accused of accessing a company computer to net $188,694. “She developed a severe gambling problem at the start of 2013 and it was of such a nature that it overtook every aspect of her life and simply was something she couldn’t control,” her lawyer Petrina Stokes said. The Court heard how Bailey had been disowned by her family and lost custody of her beloved granddaughter causing the defendant to act out of character.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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