Brief Look at Crime 01/19 – 01/25

Ex-official convicted of $725,000 theft from band 

A former executive director of the Kwadacha Nation Indian band was sentenced Thursday to a conditional sentence of two years less a day and three years probation for stealing nearly $725,000 to pay off a growing gambling debt. From January 2009 to May 2010, Theresa Margaret McCook, 51, diverted to herself federal government money meant for a variety of services and programs that were never offered. An eight-year employee of the band, she started as the housing director and was then promoted to executive director where she was responsible for the management of band money and receipt of federal government funding.

Taiwanese man dies after three-day online gaming binge

A Taiwan-based man has been found dead in an internet cafe after a spending three days straight on a marathon gaming binge.* The 32-year-old man, known only by his surname Hsieh, was first spotted slumped in his chair in front of a computer by staff and other customers, but they all thought he was sleeping, the Mirror reported. Later after a worker discovered he was not breathing when he went to check on him, they were stunned and immediately called emergency services to the cafe in Greater Kaohsiung, but the gamer was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived at the hospital. The worker who found him said that Hsieh was a regular customer there and always played for consecutive days, adding that when tired, he would sleep face-down on the table or doze off slumped in his chair and that is why they were not aware of his condition in the beginning. Doctors confirmed that Hsieh died from heart failure and ruled the incident was a “sudden death” brought on from “prolonged computer gaming.” Police chief Weng Chun-neng told that cold temperatures and over-exhaustion from intense game-playing likely contributed to Hsieh’s demise.

Suspect who shot 2 Canadian police found dead 

Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were shot and hospitalized at the Apex Casino in St. Albert, Alberta on Saturday morning. The search for a suspect accused of opening fire on two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers has ended. Police said they have located the suspect dead, and there is no longer any threat to the public. The two officers were shot early Saturday morning at the Apex Casino. They were there to investigate a report of a stolen vehicle. Police said a suspect began shooting at the officers when they approached him. Both officers were sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

Sydney finance director ‘stole $7m to fund gambling habit’ 

Sydney finance director ‘stole $7m to fund gambling habit’ Jason Boatwright is accused of embezzling millions from his former employer A Sydney finance chief arrested in Los Angeles after a three-year manhunt allegedly stole millions to fund his gambling habit. Jason Boatwright, 38, was detained last week and escorted back to Sydney by officers after a joint FBI, US Secret Service and NSW Police operation, Fairfax Media reports. He is accused of swindling millions from his former employers, online payment service epay.

Frisch’s: Top exec stole millions and gambled it away

Frisch’s Restaurants Inc. is accusing one of its former top executives of a massive and systematic theft, claiming he stole at least $3.3 million over the last seven years. On Tuesday, the nation’s largest Big Boy franchisee said in a regulatory filing that it has filed a civil lawsuit against Michael Hudson, its former assistant treasurer and 32-year company veteran, accusing him of embezzlement. The Walnut Hills-based company says it discovered the alleged theft in late December after an internal audit revealed cost discrepancies. It also disclosed findings of an internal investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cincinnati last week for potential criminal charges. A few coworkers in accounting knew he gambled occasionally because he sent them pictures from the Downtown casino. Hudson claimed he gambled it all away, Maier says.

Million-dollar gambling investigation in California

The nation’s gambling industry was stunned last month when California Attorney General Kamala Harris accused the state’s former casino enforcement chief of engaging in a conflict of interest on behalf of a San Jose card club targeted in a $119 million skimming investigation. One would think a sophisticated state like California would have a regulatory system capable of preventing, or at least adjudicating, actions such as those alleged in the Lytle complaint. Unfortunately, California’s politically bifurcated system of regulating about 80 card rooms and providing oversight for 59 tribal casinos is highly dysfunctional, incapable of regulating what gambling is already legal in the state, let alone Internet poker. The casino and eight-story hotel remains open pending a commission review of its license.

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