A Brief Look at Crime 8/01-8/07

Man gets 26-year prison term for Tacoma casino slaying

A man accused of killing a driver he argued with outside a Tacoma casino has been sentenced to 26 years in prison. The News Tribune reports that Jeremy Schlenker, of Toppenish, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to murder for Brandon Williams March 2015 death. Court documents say Schlenker blocked Williams’ car from backing out of a parking space. Authorities say Schlenker exchanged words with Williams before pistol whipping and shooting him. Schlenker’s attorney argued Monday that her client suffers from paranoia and believed he was going to get shot the night he killed Williams. Schlenker said in court that he “made a bad mistake” and said he felt for the victim’s family, because he’d lost friends to “meaningless, senseless violence.”

Ex-banana importer gets prison for retirement fund theft

A former banana importer already serving a dozen years in prison for distributing drugs was sentenced on Monday to another seven years for stealing $750,000 from his employees’ retirement fund. U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer called 48-year-old Thomas Hoey Jr.’s conduct “appalling and utterly without excuse or justification” as he pronounced the sentence, saying Hoey will have to serve the majority of the new prison term only after completing the sentence he received last year in the drug case. “At every turn, you put your interests in satisfying your appetites first,” the judge said. “You rationalize your conduct to this day.” Hoey, who prosecutors say referred to himself as Mr. Big and as the Banana King, was convicted at trial and apologized to his ex-employees at sentencing. “I never intended to cheat my employees,” he said. He called his actions a mistake that “ruined my life, my family and my business.” Prosecutors said the Garden City resident lived lavishly, enjoying extensive travel and casino trips.

3-year prison sentence for Honolulu gambling, bribery 

A man who operated illegal game rooms in Honolulu’s Chinatown and Kalihi neighborhoods must spend about three years in federal prison. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Hawaii announced Delvin Phuong Pham’s sentence on Thursday. He’s also known as Kevin Pham. His sentence also includes forfeiting more than $96,000 and 14 gambling machines. Pham’s game rooms allowed patrons to gamble using slot machines, video game machines and card tables. Prosecutors say he made $10,000 to $28,000 weekly from his illegal gambling business. Prosecutors say he paid more than $7,000 in bribes to Honolulu police officers pretending to accept money in exchange for protecting him from law enforcement.

Funeral held for man found shot to death inside car after leaving casino

Alex Eichmann’s funeral was held Thursday, nearly 10 days after he was shot and killed inside his Corvette. Relatives said Eichmann was a good person, and they are urging anyone who knows anything about his death to please come forward. “It’s been devastating to our family. We loved Alex so much,” Eichmann’s brother, Eric, said. Choking back tears, Eric Eichmann looked back on his brother’s life. “He was such a kind soul and for the life of us, we just can’t figure out who would want to do this to him and why,” Eichmann said. The family came together Thursday at St. Vincent Catholic Church in targate to honor the life of the 48-year-old who was shot in the parking lot of a McDonald’s July 11. Before Alex Eichmann went to the McDonald’s, his brother said that he went to the Isle Casino, where people knew him well. “He would try to go once or twice a week if he could,” Eric Eichmann said. Detectives won’t say whether someone might have followed him from the casino to the McDonald’s — a route Eichmann generally took — but his family isn’t ruling anything out.

Woman who stole $330K from employer for gambling habit gets 5 years in prison

A Pennsylvania woman who stole more than $330,000 from her Bridgewater employer to feed a gambling habit was sentenced Friday to five years in prison. Younja Devine (Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office) Younja Devine, a.k.a. Jaimie Devine, 53, was convicted of second-degree theft and two counts of third-degree forgery. Devine must also pay $10,000 in restitution. She apologized to her former employer and her family for her actions before being led away in handcuffs. Between September 2013 and January 2015, Devine stole more than $330,000 from Bridgewater Community Services, which operates two senior citizen housing complexes, Centerbridge I and Centerbridge II. Devine, in her position as resident manager for the properties, deposited the money from fraudulent checks into her personal account. Devine, a citizen of South Korea, used the names of active vendors for Bridgewater Community Services and submitted fraudulent invoices in the vendors names, authorities have said. After making a check out to a vendor for the fake invoice she would alter the check to make it to a consulting company she owned, authorities have said.

NYPD Busts $15 Million Pot and Illegal Gambling Ring Based in Little Italy  

The owner of a bakery in Little Italy and about two dozen others with alleged ties to the Mafia were arrested this week for running a $15 million pot, prescription pill, and gambling ring across the country. The ringleaders of the scheme, Richard Sinde, 51 — who is currently serving prison time upstate for crimes associated with the Bonanno family — and John Kelly, 52, supervised the cannabis-running conspiracy, coordinating the collection, distribution, and shipment to sellers, prosecutors say. Parisi, along with co-defendants Frank Galesi, 50, Carl Muraco, 52, and Stephen Gallo, 64, was also charged in a separate indictment for running an illegal gambling website generating over a million dollars in revenue, according to records connected to bets placed through the site. Officials say they seized over six hundred pounds of marijuana, some six hundred oxycodone pills, and eleven handguns as part of the operation.

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