Brief Look at Crime 03/30 – 04/05

Marlins pitcher in MLB probe over ‘gambling’ ties

Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart is the subject of an MLB investigation into alleged gambling activity following an online exchange Tuesday night in which Cosart allegedly wrote “I bet LARGE” in a direct message and later deactivated his Twitter account as the scrutiny mounted. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney confirmed to the Miami New Times the league is looking into the allegations. The claims — and at this point, that’s all they are — began with user @GhostFadeKillah, a self-proclaimed online sports betting expert, when he published an alleged message exchange between Cosart and another online gambling shark.

Grandview Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Extortion, Money Laundering Scheme

The owner of a Grandview, MO, lawn care company pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a $3 million extortion and money laundering scheme that began when a cocaine deal went awry. After receiving the money from his victim, Lewis repeatedly engaged in a series of financial transactions involving the proceeds of a criminal offense. For example, Lewis paid $167,000 for a 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo, $61,000 for a 2005 Bentley, $65,500 for a 2007 Aston Martin, $45,595 for a 2011 Aston Martin and $23,000 for a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro; made multiple cash withdrawals at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., totaling more than $137,000; spent $27,708 to purchase jewelry, sunglasses, perfume and clothing from Gucci in Las Vegas; purchased a Rolex watch; and paid $100,000 to pay off a mortgage. Under federal statutes, Lewis is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Former Station Casinos manager sentenced to prison for under-the-table payments

A former Las Vegas casino company employee was sentenced to 366 days in federal prison Thursday after his conviction in a tax evasion scheme. Anthony M. Cirulli, 75, who pleaded guilty in September to one count of tax evasion, also was placed on three years of supervised release after prison and ordered to pay the IRS $351,039 in restitution. Between 2005 and 2008, Cirulli hid hundreds of thousands of dollars he received under the table while reviewing printing contracts as a production manager in the corporate advertising department of Station Casinos, according to authorities. For the 2007 tax year, Cirulli willfully filed a false tax return, which omitted the income, his plea agreement states. He admitted hiding the money in two “nominee” bank accounts that conducted no business activity.

Couple robs Tobago casino of $500,000

Half a million dollars in cash has been sto­len at gun­point from the Silver Dollar Casino in Tobago. The incident occurred at around 10.30 a.m. on Friday. A woman posing as a cus­to­mer approached the door of the Shirvan Plaza casino, which was not yet open. The administrative man­ager was speaking to the wo­man when she was confron­ted by a masked man, brandishing a fire­arm. The couple then deman­ded money. Staff were ordered to open a vault and $500,000 was sto­len. The two then made their es­cape in a waiting vehicle. General manager Bis­wajit Bakshi said there was no security present at the casino when the incident occurred. Contacted for an up­date on the matter, acting Senior Superin­ten­dent of Police, Tobago Joanne Archie said offi­cers are on the case. “The matter is at a sen­sitive stage at this time, however, officers are working on several leads in bringing the per­pe­trators to justice,” Archie said.

Lewis-McChord hotel worker gets 2 years for embezzlement

A longtime employee at a military hotel on Joint Base Lewis-McChord has been sentenced to two years in prison and treatment for a gambling addiction after she stole at least $250,000 in government funds. Gail Moody had worked for 27 years at the Rainier Inn which provides affordable housing for military personnel and their families. From 2010 to 2012 she stole more than $250,000 in cash receipts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the amount might have been more: It was impossible to determine if any thefts occurred before 2010 because the computer system had been changed. Staff noticed discrepancies between the cash receipts and what had been deposited in the hotel’s bank accounts when she took a leave in 2012. In a letter, Moody told U.S. District Judge Ron Leighton she was ashamed and that she intends to pay the money back.

Pittsfield jeweler sentenced for defrauding customers

A Pittsfield jeweler who defrauded his customers out of $350,000 to fuel his gambling and drug addictions has been sentenced to up to five years in prison. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Mark Yannone was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to 16 charges, including 14 counts pf larceny. Authorities say the 32-year-old Yannone, while operating M. Joseph Jewelers at times accepted money for purchases, only to ship customers empty boxes or nothing at all; took customers’ jewelry on consignment and failed to pay them a share of any sale; and in one case sent worthless metal painted gold to a customer who had paid for $25,000 for gold bars.

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

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