Brief Look at Crime 11/23 – 11/29

Ex-Frisch’s executive to plead in $4 million scheme

Michael Hudson worked for Frisch’s for more than three decades. He started in college, working in the kitchen, and eventually became the company’s third-ranking accountant. So when company officials discovered that Hudson over seven years manipulated the payroll system to steal nearly $4 million, it was like a family member had deceived them. Now that Hudson has agreed to plead guilty to embezzling the money – nearly a year after the theft was discovered – the company’s former CEO expressed frustration that justice took so long. Documents filed in the lawsuit say Hudson used the money for gambling as well as to purchase property, vehicles and jewelry. Maier said investigators told him that Hudson started a property-flipping business but blew most of the money gambling and on personal expenses.

Northeast Title and Tag CFO allegedly stole over $100,000 to support drug, gambling habits

The chief financial officer for Northeast Title and Tag is accused of stealing over $100,000 in 2013 and 2014 to support gambling and drug habits. Kelly Annette Jones, 47, of Sweet Valley, faces two felony theft charges and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. Jones was interviewed by police on the same day and allegedly indicated in a written statement she had been stealing money from the business for the past year for personal use. She estimated she stole up to $15,000, and said the money was for gambling and drug habits. Investigators say the total amount stolen was $27,600.09 in 2013 and $86,739.94 in 2014.

Former county treasurer gets 3 years for embezzling $220K

A former Jefferson County treasurer who acknowledged embezzling more than $220,000 has been sentenced to three years with the Montana Department of Corrections. The Helena Independent Record reports Patricia Dawn O’Neill was sentenced Wednesday and ordered to pay about $250,000 in restitution. She pleaded guilty in July to felony theft. The case came to light in March 2014 when O’Neill told her cousin — the county’s clerk and recorder — that she had attempted suicide because she had taken $200,000 in county funds in the six years since her divorce. An initial audit found at least $104,000 was missing, but a later report showed a $220,101 discrepancy. Bank statements showed O’Neill wrote numerous checks to casinos. According to court records, her plan was to win the lottery and repay the county.

Man convicted in stabbing, shooting death of volunteer coach

Sentencing for a man convicted in the death of a northwest Alabama volunteer football coach is set for Jan. 28. The Times Daily reports Jeremy Williams of Florence was found guilty of intentional murder Saturday in the November 2013 death of 27-year-old Brioni Rutland. Williams had been charged with capital murder in the case. Rutland was a volunteer coach at Deshler High School in Tuscumbia and Williams has said the man’s death was in self-defense. Williams said Rutland came to his house to collect a gambling debt and threatened to cut off one of his fingers. Authorities have said Rutland was stabbed, shot and thrown over a railroad bridge into the Tennessee River. Lauderdale County Chief Assistant District Attorney Will Powell says Williams faces 20 years to life in prison.

City trader with £3.8m-a-year gambling habit jailed after cheating
friends out of almost £1.8m to feed his addiction

A City trader who conned friends and colleagues out of nearly £1.8m to feed his gambling addiction has been jailed for five years and four months – despite his tearful fiancee’s plea for mercy. Stewart Jones, 35, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to fraudulently taking sums of up to £880,000 from six men, including his former UBS boss James Robinson, from May last year to invest in a racehorse trading scheme. When Mr Robinson and his brother Danny became suspicious about their investments Jones faked an HSBC bank statement and Tattersalls invoice. Jones even took £85,000 from his fiancee Helen Griffiths who only found out about what he had done after he had fled to Las Vegas, squandered the rest of the money, and taken an overdose.

Former Green Valley High school banker sentenced to prison 

Family and friends of a former Green Valley High School banker silently sobbed as a Las Vegas judge on Thursday sentenced the mother of three to up to four years in prison for stealing thousands of dollars in student-generated funds from the Henderson campus. Melissa Traylor, who in July entered a guilty plea for the theft of nearly $144,000 from the school, also broke out in tears as she struggled to read from a letter detailing how a gambling addiction had taken control of her but did not absolve her of the crime. “I understand what I did was wrong. I understand all of that. I’m very sorry for it,” Traylor told Clark County District Judge Michelle Leavitt. 

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