Brief Look at Crime 05/04 – 05/10

‘Gambler who lost at mahjong killed winner’ 

A GAMBLER beat a man to death with a brick and stole back money he had earlier lost to him, prosecutors in Songjiang District claimed yesterday. The accused, an unemployed man surnamed Shen, has been arrested for murder and robbery. According to prosecutors, Shen withdrew 2,000 yuan (US$322) on September 11 last year to gamble on mahjong but lost most of the cash. Shen is said to have followed a man, surnamed Wu, who had won the money from him and asked for a lift on his moped. Wu gave him a lift but on the journey Shen attacked him, striking him repeatedly on the head, it is claimed. Shen allegedly took 2,000 yuan and a gold chain from Wu’s body, before dumping the body, along with Wu’s cellphone and moped, in a river.

VA official spent $300k on stripper sex, gambling 

A former federal employee admitted embezzling about $150,000 from a Veterans Administration retail store and blowing the cash on stripper sex, prostitutes, and gambling sprees, according to the Justice Department. Glenn Alan Bates schemed to steal money collected at a VA retail store —or canteen —he managed in Ann Arbor, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in federal court. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison. According to court records, Bates told investigators he spent part of the money at casinos in Indianapolis and Battle Creek.

3 Plead Guilty to Running International Sports Betting Ring

Three men charged with running an illegal international sports gambling ring that made millions have pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in San Diego. The U.S. attorney’s office says brothers Jan and Erik Portocarrero and Joseph Barrios entered the pleas Friday. Each faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Prosecutors say the brothers ran an internet and telephone gambling enterprise called “Macho Sports” for more than a decade from a headquarters in Lima, Peru. Barrios was a major bookmaker for the operation.

Judge shows mercy to Minnesota woman who stole from veterans 

In 2009, Patricia Winstead wrote a thesis in her social work program at the University of St. Thomas on the problems veterans face in VA homes, including anger and depression caused by financial difficulties. Unknown to anyone, she was simultaneously stealing from vulnerable veterans as a money manager handling the financial affairs of veterans deemed incapable of overseeing their money themselves. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery sentenced Winstead, 42, to a “significant downward departure” – one year and a day – for stealing more than $292,000 in 198 incidents from 24 veterans over a five-year period. She also was ordered to make restitution. In a memorandum prepared by her lawyer, Winstead asked for probation, blaming a gambling addiction, and said she had completed treatment and had not gambled for years. She finally decided she could no longer continue to steal and gamble.

Anaheim man’s gambling addiction fueled $3.3 million theft

An Anaheim man who embezzled millions from an Irvine company to feed a gambling addiction was sentenced Monday to three years in federal prison. Steven Hagstrom, 38, pleaded guilty last year to embezzling an estimated $3.3 million from Sentinel Offender Services, where he worked as a controller. He admitted to gambling with the money at casinos in California and Las Vegas. In a courtroom at the Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana on Monday, Judge David O. Carter ordered Hagstrom to serve 37 months in prison and pay more than $2 million in restitution to Sentinel and an insurance company, having already paid back the rest of the money he stole.

CSI: Cyber’ is Raising the Stakes to Expose ‘Seedy’ Online Poker World Tonight

The latest “CSI” spinoff, “CSI: Cyber” goes right for the jugular as it tackles the “seedy” world of online poker. Whether this episode of “CSI: Cyber” entitled “Raising the Stakes” is based on a true story remains to be seen….but we get the gist. “The online gaming world is a haven for cyber-criminals,” Special Agent Avery Ryan, played by Patricia Arquette, says in the trailer. FBI agents can be seen rushing a home likely located in the Southeastern United States. Arquette’s character is seen in the trailer asking to have $250,000 to play online poker, which would be impossible to deposit, even over a prolonged period of time and even at the most stringently regulated of sites such as those based throughout Europe.

 

 

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

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