Brief Look at Crime 09/21 – 10/04

Father loses in gambling, kills wife, 2 kids 

A father of four killed his wife and two of his children in San Pedro, Laguna, before dawn Tuesday after losing in gambling. Ruel Marañan was reportedly angry when he arrived at their house in Sitio Bukid, Barangay Riverside. He had just come from a wake, where he had allegedly gambled and lost heavily. Gambling, usually card games, is tolerated during wakes as a form of fundraising for the family of the deceased and of entertainment for mourners. An emotional Marañan vented his anger on his wife and four minor children, whom he attacked with a knife, according to radio dzMM citing Superintendent Cecilio Ison Jr., San Pedro police chief. His rampage led to the death of his wife, Gemmalyn and two children: Chantal May, 4, and Juniel, six-months old. They were declared dead on arrival at the Narra Hospital in San Pedro.

Online poker virus lets cybercriminals peek at victims’ cards

Online poker players beware: there may be someone at your table looking at your cards, and they’re not standing behind you. A new virus making the rounds on the Internet enables cybercriminals to take screenshots of opponents’ hands on popular poker sites such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, according to ESET, a Slovakian online security company. Potential cheaters can then attempt to join the tables where victims are playing to gain an unfair advantage. The trojan virus, Win32/Spy.Odlanor, is installed on users’ machines after downloading poker-related programs such as player databases and calculators, ESET wrote in a blog post. The virus can also be picked up by downloading applications from sources other than the official websites of software makers.

Gaming commission approves $1.5 million fine for Caesars

With only brief discussion, the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday signed off on a $1.5 million fine agreed to by Caesars Entertainment Corp. for violating federal anti-money laundering programs at the company’s Caesars Palace. Commissioners took less than 15 minutes to accept the penalty for a 15-count complaint that the gaming company agreed with in a stipulated settlement with the Gaming Control Board. Only Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo Jr. addressed the fine. Alamo remarked that the fine was “one of the top five fines for the state of Nevada. I’m sure you’re not proud to be on that list.” According to the complaint, Caesars Palace maintained “highly deficient internal controls” inside the Strip resort’s private gaming salons, had numerous lapses in its anti-money laundering program and didn’t file suspicious transaction activity reports over a three-month period in 2012.

 Woman allegedly embezzles $745,000 from BCU 

A FORMER bank manager has been charged with stealing almost three quarters of a million dollars from a BCU branch in Coffs Harbour. The 58-year-old Coffs Harbour woman, who is no longer employed at the Park Ave branch, is facing a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment after she was this week charged by Coffs-Clarence police with larceny by clerks or servants. Police will allege the charge relates to offences at the branch between May 2002 and May 2014 where the woman is accused of embezzling $745,008.90. Over the 12-year-period she allegedly withdrew funds from the branch’s automatic teller machines, pilfered money from cash draws, and falsified internal bank records in an effort to conceal her alleged crimes. The woman allegedly admitted she had stolen $690,000, telling her colleague the theft was driven by a “gambling habit”.

Real estate fraud linked to $10.1m pokie habit

A real estate director has received a two-year sentence after stealing from her agency’s trust account to subsidise a gambling addiction.NSW Fair Trading said that Ms Harrod is “believed to have defrauded her clients of $789,000”. Fair Trading obtained records that revealed Ms Harrod had gambled $10.1 million on poker machines over a seven-year period, including the years covered by her fraud. The records also showed she won a combined $9.1 million during the same period. Ms Harrod pleaded guilty to two charges of fraudulently converting money as a licensee, relating to money taken from the company’s rent and sales trust accounts.

Police Seize Luxury Cars In Underground Poker Bust 

Police in Naperville, Illinois seized $25,000 along with three luxury cars as part of a raid on an alleged poker game operating out of a former pain clinic located in a strip mall, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune. The raid happened late last month and 13 people have been charged, but the investigation is still ongoing and more charges are likely. Authorities first began looking at the alleged illegal gambling operation this spring. Drugs were also allegedly found in the establishment. The cars seized were a 2011 Porsche Panamera, a 2014 Mercedes E63 AMG and a 2015 Lamborghini Huracan. “The Lamborghini was so expensive and new we didn’t even tow it,” Naperville police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said, according to dailyherald.com. “They didn’t want to take the risk so we actually drove it back to the police station.”

Investigators: Gambling parents left child, 7, in casino parking garage for 19 hours

Two people are facing charges after police say they left their 7-year-old son in a vehicle for 19 hours while they went gambling at the Rivers Casino. Investigators say the boy was left inside a van in the parking garage without food or water. Rivers Casino sent Channel 11 News the following statement: “We can’t stop parents from making bad decisions; But we are vigilant in our efforts to prevent this from happening. The casino has issued a lifetime ban to the parents.”

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

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