A Brief Look at Crime 03/14 – 03/20

Man, 33, charged with murder in shooting at illegal gambling room near San Antonio

A second man accused of shooting a man in the head at a mobile home turned game room in January turned himself in to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday. Looking at images investigators obtained from surveillance footage of the robbery, Ivarra said “That’s me,” as he placed his initials next to the picture and wrote ME below it. Ivarra said he went in with the intention of robbing the place, not to kill someone, and admitted to taking a purse during the incident. He said he had a handgun with him during the robbery and pawned it the following morning, according to investigators. Deputies found Nunez dead inside of the game room where they determined the shooting was part of an attempted robbery. Authorities released images of the two men shortly after and received tips leading to Salazar’s arrest.

Offshore Gambling Site Laundered $2 Million in Amazon Gift Cards

The operators of an offshore gambling website used Amazon gift cards to launder nearly $2 million over the past few years, a Department of Homeland Security investigator alleged in a recent application for a seizure warrant filed in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. The filing alleges that the Costa Rica-based gambling site, 5Dimes, instructed U.S. customers to use Amazon gift cards to fund their 5Dimes sports betting, in an effort to skirt the U.S. financial system. The feds say 5Dimes also paid out winnings to U.S. customers in Amazon gift cards, or in merchandise they picked out on Amazon.com. The Homeland Security warrant application makes the case to seize a total of $159,000 spread among 15 Amazon accounts believed to be tied to 5Dimes. Over the years, the Amazon accounts, which bear names such as GC Lover and Blue Iguana, have held nearly $1.9 million in funds combined. Amazon has shut down the GC Lover account, according to the filing.

Moore woman sentenced to nearly four years for embezzlement 

An Oklahoma woman who embezzled more than $900,000 from an oilfield pipe inspection company has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison. Naomi D. Walker was sentenced Friday and was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to Star Pipe Service Inc. and the IRS. Walker confessed that she used her position of banking and corporate check writing responsibilities to embezzle the money and also used the corporate credit card for her personal benefit. A court document alleged that Walker used the company’s credit card to make unauthorized purchases at retail stores and for utility and cable company services. Walker’s defense attorney says her client had used some of the embezzled money to fuel a gambling problem.

Feds say ‘large-scale’ meth dealer gambled millions at Downstream Casino

Prosecutors say the man at the center of a large-scale Springfield meth distribution ring was a high roller at a nearby casino. Patrick Brigaudin, 54, is one of four men charged last week with conspiracy to distribute large amounts of drugs after authorities allegedly found 12 pounds of meth and 6 and a half pounds of heroin in his garage. In court filings asking that Brigaudin be held without bond, federal prosecutors say Brigaudin is a flight risk because between January 2009 and April 2015 he put more than $10 million into slot machines at Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Oklahoma. Court documents say he withdrew about $8.4 million from the slot machines.Ortiz-Corrales and Brigaudin allegedly went to Springfield banks and deposited large sums of cash in quantities just beneath what would trigger mandatory reporting requirements from the banks. Diaz, court documents say, crossed the US-Mexico border at border control checkpoints at least nine times in the previous 10 months.

Ex-Oklahoma state senator sentenced to 37 months for fraud 

A former Oklahoma state senator who admitted stealing $1.8 million from the nonprofit agency where he worked is heading to prison for 37 months. He subsequently pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return and his lawyer said the ex-senator completed two months’ of inpatient treatment for a gambling addiction. Brinkley faced 20 years on each fraud count and three years on the tax charge. U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan entered a restitution order last month. The former Republican state senator from Owasso was president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Tulsa from 1999 to 2011, then its chief operating officer until last year.

Florida man faces up to 20 years’ prison for lottery scam

A South Florida man is facing up to 20 years in prison for operating a phony lottery scam that cheated victims out of at least $500,000. Sentencing is set for May 31 in Fort Lauderdale federal court for 26-year-old Delroy Drummond. He pleaded guilty recently to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. Court documents show that Drummond and others would contact elderly people around the U.S. to falsely tell them they had won a lottery prize worth millions of dollars. But they were also told they first had to pay thousands of dollars in taxes and fees before they could collect. Prosecutors say Drummond had victims send him cash in packages and through wire transfers. The $500,000 was stolen from multiple victims between April and December 2015.

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

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