A Brief Look at Crime 10/26 – 11/1

Former bank manager gets three years and nine months for nearly $2-million fraud 

A judge has sentenced a former manager of Canadian Western Bank to three years and nine months in prison for defrauding her employers of nearly $2 million — money which she used to pay bills and credit cards, buy trucks, gamble on VLTs and purchase cocaine for her drug habit. Provincial court Judge Ken MacLeod on Monday also ordered Debra Anne Chapin, now known by her maiden name Dworkin, to pay restitution of $1,750,000 of the $1,978,383 she embezzled from the Calgary-based institution between June 1, 2006, and June 30, 2008. “It was Ms. Dworkin’s reputation with the bank and with customers that permitted this to occur,” said the judge. “She abused her position of trust. That is an aggravating factor.” “Trust frauds or embezzlements of significant sums are very serious offences. Cocaine and gambling addictions are not mitigating factors.”

 Thieving nephew who stole his 86-year-old aunt’s £330,000 life savings and blew it on fruit machines is jailed

A 54-year-old man who stole £330,000 from his aunt to fund his gambling addiction has been jailed. Ian Stanworth was given power of attorney over 86-year-old Vera Banks’ finances when she moved into the Golden Years Care Home in Blackpool, Lancashire, in 2007. Over seven years, Stanworth abused his position to swindle money from two of Mrs Banks’ savings accounts and an ISA, as well as pocketing the proceeds from the sale of her home. He used the cash to pay off business expenses and feed his addiction to fruit machines. The theft was only uncovered last year when Mrs Banks had a cheque returned due to insufficient funds. Stanworth from Bispham, Lancashire, was today jailed for four years
after admitting to the fraud.

Indiana Auditor convicted of embezzlement and fraud of over $500,000

According to evidence presented at trial, from September 2011 through December 2012, while she served as deputy chief auditor for La Porte County, Ray embezzled more than $150,000 from county coffers and underreported her income on her U.S. Individual Tax Returns for those years by failing to report the embezzled funds. Evidence at trial also showed that Ray defrauded her 86-year-old father-in-law, a disabled veteran, out of at least $400,000 that he entrusted her to oversee. The trial evidence also demonstrated that Ray used the funds that she embezzled from La Porte County and stole from her father-in-law to gamble at casinos “Mary Ray was the ultimate bad gambler,” he said. “She not only gambled that no one would discover her thefts, but she stole federal money on top of county money, which brought in the FBI and the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity unit. She then gambled she could beat the charges by blaming others for her criminal conduct. Her gambling failed on all counts.”

Reading man pleads guilty to embezzling nearly $440,000 from employer

A Reading man told a judge Friday that if someone had told him five years ago he would steal nearly $440,000 from his employer to support his gambling addiction, he would have exclaimed utter disbelief. But John R. Frank, 64, of the 1600 block of Lorraine Road, admitted he did just that, embezzling money from Burkey Group Inc., a construction company corporation, throughout a four-year period.”Such is the destructive path of compulsive gambling,” Frank said. “It’s an insidious, self-altering character defect that takes over your life and all knowledge of right and wrong is cast aside.” Frank pleaded guilty before Judge Scott D. Keller to forgery, unlawful use of a computer and theft by deception.Keller sentenced him to a total of two to 10 years in state prison on the three counts and to pay $439,937 in restitution.Keller said that while addiction is certainly a serious illness, it is the individual that commits the crime.”At some point you have to put the individual blame on the person that doesn’t seek the help,” the judge said. “I believe total confinement is necessary. This went on for many years, involved hundreds of thousands of dollars, impacting not only a business but the people in that business.”

Queens Prosecutors Indict 17 in Multi-Million Dollar Internet Gambling Ring

An illegal gambling ring with more than 2,000 bettors in the United States moved millions of dollars through banks and credit card companies and used an overseas website to place the wagers and keep the accounts, the office of the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, said on Wednesday. A Queens County grand jury indicted 17 people in the case, and all but three are in custody. The arrests were made by law enforcement officials in New York, Nevada and California, where most of the bookmakers and accountants for the ring were based, the office said. The head the operation was identified as Cyrus Irani, 37, of Santa Clarita, Calif. Mr. Brown said the ring had collected $32 million in illegal bets on football, basketball, baseball, hockey and other sports. He said Internet gambling was “a multibillion-dollar, worldwide industry.” “Internet gambling has been compared to some to the crack cocaine epidemic of the late ’80s and early ’90s,” Mr. Brown said in a statement. “It is highly addictive.”

Former Leicestershire Police investigator jailed for gambling motivated theft of gold bars

A former police employee has been jailed after stealing £153,000 and two gold bars from a force safe in what his lawyer called “a Shakespearean theft”. Mujibur Ibrahim, 25, who worked as a financial investigator for Leicestershire Police, confessed to taking the items earlier this year. Defending lawyer Michael Gomulka said the defendant, who had a gambling addiction, acted out of greed. During sentencing, prosecutor Peter Ratcliff said a day before one of his thefts in April the defendant lost £12,000 in a casino. He said Ibrahim had been responsible for ordering a safe which held keys to other secure boxes and so would have known the relevant codes. The items in storage that Ibrahim had access to had been confiscated as part of four investigations into drug trafficking. “It must have been apparent to the defendant that he could seriously jeopardise those investigations,” Mr Ratcliff said.

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

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