A Brief Look at Crime 05/09 – 05/15

Dallas jury orders Choctaw Nation to pay $11 million in 2013 casino bus crash 

A Dallas County jury has ordered the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to pay $11 million to the families of two women from Fort Worth and North Richland Hills who were killed in 2013 when a chartered bus crashed on the way to a casino. The families of Paula Hahn, 69, of Fort Worth and Alice Stanley, 83, of North Richland Hills are to get $6 million and $4.9 million in the suit, respectively. The women were on a trip to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant the morning of April 11, 2013, when the bus, northbound on the George Bush Turnpike, veered into guard barrels, swerved across multiple lanes, hit a concrete barrier and flipped over, the /Star-Telegram /has reported. The other families’ suit claimed that the Choctaw Nation was responsible for the “negligence” of Taylor, the bus company, Cardinal Coach Line, and Rieve, who were acting as agents for the Choctaw Nation but were not reasonably trained and supervised to enforce passenger safety rules. “Basically, if you are going to invite these senior citizens to gamble, you need to make sure this trip is safe,” Branson said.

Gambling offers crime gangs an easy way to launder dirty money

Gambling remains a key component of organised crime rackets as criminals use it as a simple mechanism to launder dirty cash. From John Gilligan to the Kinahans, gangsters in Ireland have long been linked with betting scams – which are played out without the knowledge of the bookmakers. Over the past decade Daniel Kinahan, whose gang is responsible for five murders in the feud with the Hutch clan, has been involved in race and match fixing. He and international criminal associates have been targeted in a number of major police investigations in the UK, Spain and Holland – but on each occasion he managed to slip the net. Around €1m worth of property and €100,000 in cash were seized when gardaí raided properties linked to the Kinahans earlier this year – but tellingly, they also recovered a betting slip for a Liverpool game. It was for €38,500 and it was 4/7 that Liverpool would beat Newcastle last December 6 – a bet which did not pay off. But going back decades, one of the methods used by Irish gangsters was to bet cash on all the horses in a particular race. 

Man shot in Bessemer over gambling dispute 

One man was wounded by gunfire and another arrested early this morning in Bessemer after a possible dispute over illegal gambling. Bessemer police were dispatched about 3:15 a.m. to a report of gunfire in at 1425 Clarendon Avenue. While they were en route, officers learned someone had been struck, said Bessemer police Sgt. Cortice Miles. When they arrived, they found a man outside with two gunshot wounds to his legs. Bessemer Fire and Rescue took him to UAB Hospital. The injuries aren’t believed to be life-threatening. Miles said the suspected shooter was taken into custody at the scene. Detectives recovered a couple of guns, shell casings, dice and other evidence. They also identified witnesses who are undergoing questioning.

Louisiana shooting: 2 dead when gunmen burst in on card game 

Several masked men burst in on a card game at a tire shop in Louisiana early Thursday and began firing semi-automatic rifles, police said. Eight men were shot, including two who died. The gunmen — described as three or four men wearing coverings over their faces — got away, according to the Shreveport Police Department. Cpl. Marcus Hines said police did not find any guns in the tire shop or any evidence that any of the gunmen was shot. “We don’t know if there was an exchange of gunfire or not,” he said. “These guys came in and started shooting. No one reports they shot back.” Hines said two men died, two were seriously wounded and four were treated at a hospital and released. Two other men had minor cuts from broken glass. Investigators don’t know the motive or whether the gunmen took any money, and don’t have leads to their identities.

Energy company owner in Texas gets prison for $3.7 million Ponzi scam 

The owner of a Texas oil and gas exploration company must serve more than 13 years in federal prison and repay $3.7 million to investors who were scammed. Prosecutors in Austin say William Risinger owned RHM Exploration and operated the company as a Ponzi scam. The 44-year-old Risinger in January pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. Officials say Risinger from late 2010 to mid-2014 stole from investors based on bogus oil, gas and mineral ventures and used the money for his personal spending. Risinger was free on bond when he was arrested April 25 in Las Vegas for violating terms of his release. Testimony during Friday’s sentencing indicated Risinger since November lost about $500,000 while gambling in Las Vegas.

5 Long Island Men Charged in Takedown of Genovese Crime Family

Eighteen people, including five from Long Island, have been indicted following a multi-year investigation of racketeering activities by members and associates of the Genovese crime family, federal authorities said Thursday. The five Long Island men charged were involved in an illegal gambling operation and each faces up to five years in prison, officials saidAn indictment unsealed Thursday charges four members and associates of the Genovese family — namely, Genovese family “soldiers” 74-year-old Robert Debello, aka “Old Man,” and 56-year-old Steven Pastore, and family “associates” Ryan Ellis, aka “Lazy Eye,” and Salvatore Delligatti, aka “Fat Sal” with racketeering conspiracy. All four live in New York City. Five other defendants, all from New York City, participated in a conspiracy along with Delligati to commit a murder for hire and committed a related firearms offense, prosecutors said. The nine remaining defendants, including the Long Island men, were involved in the illegal gambling business, authorities said.

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

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