A Brief Look at Crime 7/18-7/24

Kauai man fatally shoots ex-wife before turning gun on himself, in front of daughter 

A 45-year-old Kauai man shot and killed his ex-wife in front of their 9-year-old daughter late Monday before fatally shooting himself, Kauai police said. It happened around 10 p.m. in the Halelani Village condo project in Puhi. Police identified the victim as Celestae Gibbons, 42. The shooter was identified as Justin Gibbons. Police said Gibbons approached his ex-wife as she got out of her car at the complex. Their daughter was in the backseat. The two started to argue, and Gibbons shot her, police said. Celestae then ran into a nearby unit to try to escape her estranged husband, but he followed her inside, shooting her again and killing her. He then ran outside the complex and fatally shot himself, police said. The two were both pronounced dead at the scene. The daughter was not injured. He said Justin Gibbons had a gambling problem and major debt. The couple just divorced last month, but Allen said Justin Gibbons didn’t want a divorce. He’d constantly make his ex-wife feel guilty.

Interpol makes more than 4,000 arrests over illegal gambling on Euro 2016

More than 4,100 people were arrested in co-ordinated raids across 11 different countries during Euro 2016 in one of the largest global police operations against illegal gambling in Asia. Nearly 4,000 raids were carried out in China, France, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam on illegal gambling dens as part of Operation SOGA VI — the sixth investigation into football gambling by Interpol, the organisation which facilitates cross-border police work. A second operation, called Aces, targeted illicit betting websites and call centre-type operations in Cambodia, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. More than £10million was seized in the two operations, although Interpol estimates the illegal dens handled nearly £500m in bets during Euro 2016. “Illegal gambling generates massive profits for organised crime networks which are often linked to corruption, human trafficking and money laundering,” said Jim Anderson, the head of Interpol’s anti-corruption and financial crimes unit. 

Priest accused of stealing $500K meant for refugees 

A Canadian priest has reportedly been charged after he allegedly stole more than $500,000 meant for refugees. According to the Toronto Star, Amer Saka of the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Ontario collected the money from a fund that was meant to benefit refugees moving to Canada. An investigation began months earlier, during which a church official said the clergyman had lost it “gambling.” Saka was suspended immediately after news of the missing money. Bishop Emanuel Shaleta took Saka to a rehabilitation facility for priests “battling problems ranging from addiction to depression to sexually abusive behaviour,” the Star reports. On Wednesday Saka, 51, was arrested. He faces charges fraud exceeding $5,000 and possess proceeds of property or thing exceeding $5,000, according to the Star.

California’s Hawaiian Gardens Casino Fined $2.8 Million for Repeated Anti-Money Laundering Violations

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced a settlement with and a $2.8 million assessment against Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Inc. d/b/a The Gardens Casino, of Hawaiian Gardens, California. The Gardens, a card club, admitted that it violated the Bank Secrecy Act’s (BSA) program and reporting requirements and has agreed to future undertakings, including periodic independent reviews to examine and test its BSA Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examines card clubs for compliance with the BSA pursuant to authority delegated by FinCEN. In 2011 and 2014, IRS examined The Gardens and identified significant BSA violations. Many violations uncovered in 2011 were left unaddressed in 2014, despite the IRS findings in 2011 and despite the fact that the Gardens’ independent consultant identified many of these problems in 2013. From September 1, 2009 through the present, The Gardens failed to implement and maintain an effective AML program, failed to report large cash transactions, failed to file many suspicious activity reports (SARs), and failed to keep certain required records. 

Scottish priest who embezzled £100,000 wants Pope to release him from priesthood 

Scottish Catholic priest serving a ten month jail sentence for embezzling £100,000 of church money to fund an alleged gambling problem has apparently asked that Pope Francis allow him to quit the clergy. Fr Graeme Bell was parish priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea church, known locally as St Mary’s, in Saltcoats before being convicted of stealing from the Ayrshire parish between March and May 2015 after admitting to an online gambling problem. Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard last month how Bell, 41, suffered from anxiety and depression which “reached a stage where he was not behaving as a law abiding individual”. Now, according to The Herald, the local bishop, William Nolan, has visited the congregation and informed parishioners that Bell has asked to leave the priesthood, a process known as laicisation. The move — which would remove the Church’s duty of care to Bell and stop any Church investigation — must be approved by Pope Francis and could take over a year to conclude.

Coast-to-coast drug and gambling ring busted in NYC  

“As alleged, these individuals were responsible for, among other things, an elaborate cross-country drug-running scheme that farmed pot in California and sold it in New York City.” Police Commissioner Bratton says marijuana was cultivated in California and shipped to New York City by a drug ring that also sold oxycodone pills. Authorities in New York have made arrests in connection to a recently uncovered nationwide drug and gambling operation that generated at least $15 million in profit over the course of nearly two years. Law enforcement officials announced the indictment of more than 20 people on charges stemming from their alleged involvement in the criminal organization, which oversaw the distribution of marijuana and oxycodone pills and the operation of an illegal gambling scheme. “Whether the alleged offer was marijuana, pills or a return on bets placed through an unlawful gambling operation, the defendants developed a comprehensive system of monetizing illicit activities and trade,” NewYork County DA Cyrus Vance Jr. stated. “In this case, the alleged schemes generated millions of dollars in illegal revenue for the defendants, virtually none of which was reported, and likely all of which went straight into the defendants’ pockets.”

Las Vegas sportsbook operator fined $1.5M; CEO to resign

Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine and the company’s high-profile president and CEO Lee Amaitis will resign as part of a pending settlement with Nevada Gaming Control. The NGC filed a complaint in May alleging CG Technology failed to fix “systemic problems” with the company’s computerized bookmaking system, which resulted in “thousands of CGT patrons being incorrectly paid on winning wagers” from August 2011 to March 2015. The complaint alleged the company underpaid bettors on parlays and round-robin bets by approximately $700,000. “The Board will not tolerate improper or incorrect payments to patrons by gaming licensees, and therefore takes this matter extremely seriously,” Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett told the Las Vegas Sun, which first reported the settlement. “This settlement contains several harsh punishments and requirements for remediation that reflect those concerns.”

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

 

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