Brief Look at Crime 03/09 – 03/15

Gambler tried to kill wife so she wouldn’t have to pay his debts 

A SECURITY guard went to a casino in the hope of repaying $40,000 he had gambled away – but ended up losing more. It was then that John Gee Tze Chiang decided to kill himself, after spending a final happy night at a karaoke bar with his wife. The next morning, when she told him of the calls she had been getting from creditors, he decided to kill her too so she would not be saddled with his debts. Gee knifed Madam Koh Poh Lian twice in the chest and also in her neck and back, before turning the blade to his own chest. The 38-year-old couple were found lying in a pool of blood by his parents, who shared the Housing Board flat in Clementi West Street 2. Both survived. Yesterday, Gee was jailed for seven years for attempted culpable homicide, and had a charge of attempted suicide taken into consideration.

Man shot to death over gambling dispute

A gambling dispute led to a fatal shooting outside an east valley apartment complex, Las Vegas police said Thursday. A man was shot five or six times Wednesday night after an argument at the Suites, 4855 Boulder Highway, near Flamingo Road, Metro supervisor Lt. Bobby Smith said. Officers were sent to the complex at 10:34 p.m., police said. The man died at Sunrise Hospital Medical Center shortly after. This is the 20th homicide in Metro’s jurisdiction in 2015, according to the agency. His identity has not been released. No arrests were made, and police are looking for a man in connection with the killing, Smith said.

McDonough County man accused of stealing $420,000 in poker chips
from professional poker player

A McDonough County, Illinois, man is accused of stealing $420,000 in poker chips from an apartment in Los Angeles, California. McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker says Dustin R. Campbell, 32, of Blandinsville, is charged with grand theft. He was arrested in McDonough County on a warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The theft originally happened Jan. 26, when VanBrooker says Campbell stole the chips from professional poker player Matthew Kirk’s apartment on Ventura Boulevard. The chips were from multiple casinos. Kirk’s biggest tournament win was in 2008, when he placed 11th in the Crown Aussie Millions Championship, earning $135,000 AUD in prize money, just under $142,000 USD, according to PokerPages.com. The site shows five other tournament wins through 2012, but WGEM News couldn’t verify Kirk’s cash game winnings.

5 years in prison for man who stole $360,000 from Willard band students

A Utah man has learned he will be spending the next few years behind bars after ripping off students and their families. After his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Calliope Saaga walked out of the federal courthouse in Springfield, but not exactly as a free man. In 45 days he has to report to federal prison to begin serving 5 years, which was his sentence for stealing $360,000.00 from Willard High band members and their families. “The judge made it clear that there was a need to make a statement that- you don’t do this to kids. You don’t do this to the magnitude that he did,” said Julie Germann, the mother of students who were part of the Willard band. Saaga, a travel and tour agent operating out of Utah, was being paid the money to take the kids on a trip to Hawaii. Instead, prosecutors say, he blew the money during gambling sprees in Las Vegas. Germann said she, and the community were, “Shocked that it happened, sad for the kids, sad for the families that were in a lot worse financial shape to begin with that had sacrificed so much to make this opportunities for their kids.”

Volkswagen dealership embezzler from New Castle sentenced to three and a half years

A Lawrence County woman’s request for home confinement as punishment for stealing nearly $600,000 from her employer was “bold if not bordering on delusional,” a federal judge said Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon sentenced Deborah Cassini, to 3 1/2 years in prison and three years of probation. The dealership is still recovering. It hasn’t returned to the financial position it was in before Cassini began stealing, Tennant said. “This was a long, destructive course of embezzlement and lies,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Karl said. “And it nearly destroyed Three Rivers Volkswagen.” Cassini embezzled money so that she could play slot machines to forget her depression and other problems, said her attorney, Douglas Sughrue. “Instead of cognitive therapy, she went to the casinos,” he said.

Ex-director of East Orange non-profit sentenced to 5 years for stealing $380K

The former executive director of an East Orange non-profit development agency has been sentenced to five years in state prison for stealing $380,000 from a low-income housing project. While leading the East Orange Revitalization and Development Corporation, Marchan stole the funds between 2005 and 2010 – and used the money to finance a “lavish lifestyle,” prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Marchan spent the money on refurnishing her former residence in Orange, trips, hotel stays at casinos, jewelry and other personal expenses.

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