Brief Look at Crime 07/06 – 07/12

Witness Testifies Ex Blew Up Home That Killed Two to Pay Off Gambling Debt

An Indianapolis woman whose house exploded, killing two people, testified Wednesday during her former boyfriend’s trial that he was determined to burn the home down for insurance money and became angry when the first two attempts failed. Monserrate Shirley, 49, said she became distraught when neighbors telephoned her after the November 2012 explosion and told her she had no home to return to. She said she confronted defendant Mark Leonard, 46, who faces more than 50 counts, including two counts of murder, arson and insurance fraud. “That’s not what you told me,” Shirley said she told Leonard about the alleged plan. “That cannot be real.” “Don’t worry about it,” she said he told her. “Everything’s under control.” Prosecutors have said Leonard was the mastermind of the plot to burn the home to collect insurance money to pay off gambling debts and other expenses. Shirley has pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges and faces a possible sentence to 20 to 50 years in prison.

Jail for gambling addict who stole almost £500,000 from Dews motor group

A 46-year-old accountant whose gambling addiction spiralled out of control has been jailed for three years after he stole nearly £500,000 from a Halifax-based motor group. Tadcaster man Andrew Bell abused his position as financial controller with Dews Motor Group Limited to transfer the huge sum into his own bank accounts over a number of years and his criminal actions only came to light while he was away from work on holiday. Barrister Mark Watterson, for Bell, confirmed that the root cause of his client’s offending had been his gambling problem. Mr Watterson said Bell’s addiction had “spiralled out of control” and after it had caused his business to falter it then led to him committing the fraud on his employers.

Two women jailed for leaving puppy in hot car outside casino

Two women were arrested and jailed Tuesday for leaving a puppy in a hot car while they were at the Hard Rock Casino, police said. Faith and Kandice Williams were taken to Rogers County Jail after the dog was found in a car outside the casino hotel in Catoosa. Police said that they responded to a call from a casino maintenance man around 1 p.m. Tuesday stating a dog had been left in a silver Buick for more than two hours. Casino security said they were able to unlock the door without breaking the window, and they took the Dachshund-mix puppy to the front of the casino, where they gave it water and cooled it down.

Former Farmington fire chief sentenced for stealing $216,000 from town

A former Farmington Fire Chief pleaded guilty in Strafford County Superior Court Wednesday to stealing money from the town he served. He was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in state prison and ordered to pay back more than $216,000 in restitution. Richard Fowler, 48, of Skowhegan, Maine, admitted to misdirecting funds while employed as Farmington’s Fire Chief for about five and half years until he left in 2014 to become fire chief in Skowhegan, Maine. He was fired from that position about three months later. The money he stole came from payments made by Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester to the fire department to compensate the town for paramedic services. Instead of depositing money into the department’s account, Fowler illegally diverted money to the non-profit Farmington Firefighter Relief Fund account, which he oversaw. He used some money to buy equipment for the department the town did not fund. Most of the money went to personal uses, like aiding his gambling and drug addictions.

Pizza Delivery Guy Busts Huge Cockfighting Ring 

An unnamed pizza delivery guy is responsible for putting an end to a huge cockfighting ring in Orlando, Florida. According to the report from Fox News 30, the pizza guy made a delivery to the compound in the middle of a cockfight. He alerted the authorities after he left. Sheriff Grady Judd questioned the intelligence of the perpetrators. “We really appreciate this pizza delivery driver calling us. Frankly, I can’t understand why someone would ask for a pizza delivery during an illegal cockfight, but (we) are happy to also make house calls. It’s pretty funny when you think about it.” The Humane Society lists cockfighting as a particular brutal blood sport, and they warn of other crimes that go hand-in-hand with it. “In a cockfight, two roosters fight each other to the death while people place bets. Cockfighters let the birds suffer untreated injuries or throw the birds away like trash afterwards. Besides being cruel, cockfighting often goes hand in hand with gambling, drug dealing, illegal gun sales and murder.”

Firekeepers Casino: Approx. 85,000 People’s Credit Card Information Hacked

Absent from the casino’s release about the incident was information about who’s responsible for the data security breach. An investigation of a data-security incident at FireKeepers Casino Hotel revealed that about 85,000 credit and debit cards may have been affected between September and April, the casino announced Friday. The incident was discovered on April 16. FireKeepers immediately engaged independent IT forensic experts to assist with its investigation, and has been cooperating with law enforcement. The information leaked may include card number, cardholder name, verification code, and/or the card’s expiration date.

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

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