A Brief Look at Crime 8/08-8/14

Gambling addict bludgeoned his estranged wife to death

A JEALOUS husband has been jailed for life after killing his wife in a vicious hammer attack. Gambling addict Paul Abbott bludgeoned wife Jacqueline at least 16 times following a row over tickets to an Elvis tribute act. The couple had split last year after almost 30 years together, when Abbott broke a promise to curb his betting when he blew £11,000 in a casino binge. Abbott, 57, confronted Jacqueline at the family home in Netherton, West Mids, on the afternoon of 11 December after hearing she was planning a night out with a friend to see an Elvis impersonator. It is thought a fight broke out between the pair in a bedroom when he was told she’d sold his ticket on eBay. Abbott − described as controlling by friends and relatives and someone with a history of domestic violence − struck his wife across the head with a hammer and delivered what proved to be fatal blows in the back garden after following her downstairs as she desperately tried to flee.

Former Lexington pharmacy owner gets prison for million dollar theft from charity

A former Lexington pharmacy owner accused of stealing $1.1 million from a charity that helps with patients’ medication costs has been sentenced to six years and three months in prison. Adam K. Sloan agreed as part of his guilty plea to pay $815,168 to the charity, representing the amount he was charged with stealing minus more than $313,000 from his bank accounts that the government seized, according to court records. The charity helps people pay out-of-pocket costs for medicine. Sloan applied for funding for patients without their knowledge, then took the money Good Days provided, according to a court record. The patients Sloan fraudulently enrolled did not receive the medication for which Good Days authorized funding, according to Sloan’s plea agreement. In letters to Reeves, relatives and friends described Sloan as a bright, hard-working man who was raised in a Christian home and started his business with a desire to help people, but took a disastrous turn because of alcohol abuse and a gambling problem.

E-Sports Gambling Site Took $13.2 Million in Bets Post-Crackdown

Two weeks after game-maker Valve tried to stop a rapidly growing form of unregulated gambling on professional video gaming, the most popular gambling sites are still taking millions of dollars worth of bets. On the biggest betting hub, CSGOLounge, gamblers have wagered more than $13.2 million worth of virtual goods since July 13, when Valve said it would stop websites from allowing its products to be used as currency. The average amount of money bet on each game is down about 25 percent, according to gambling monitor Genius Sports. Valve’s cease-and-desist letter said the sites are violating the company’s terms of service by using its software to facilitate betting and must stop by Friday, July 29. The announcement sent ripples through this dark corner of the e-sports world. Bettors, many of whom are teenagers, were on pace to wager $7.4 billion on these sites this year — 12 times as much as estimated e-sports betting at regulated sports books, according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming and Narus Advisors.

Ex-exec of Arkansas firm gets 18 months for stealing nearly $1M

A judgment filed Tuesday in federal court in Little Rock shows that John Calloway, former president of Wilson-Bennett Technology Inc. in Cabot, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to repay the company $774,756.14 that he admitted stealing between 2008 and 2012. Calloway pleaded guilty Dec. 15 to wire fraud, admitting that from September 2011 through September 2012, he took advantage of his access to the company’s bank accounts and payroll system to use company funds to pay off a $250,643 credit-card bill for a business owned by him and his wife called Gym Star Gymnastics. Court documents show the credit card had been used for personal and business expenses. Marshall also ordered Calloway to participate in a gambling-addiction treatment program, stay out of casinos and refrain from betting on sports or playing any games of chance if money is involved. Calloway also was ordered to participate in mental health counseling.

Mohegan Sun cocktail waitress to plead guilty to role in players’ card scheme 

A former Mohegan Sun cocktail waitress will plead guilty to charges she conspired with two others in a players’ club card scheme that defrauded the casino of more than $420,000. Rochelle Poszeluznyj, 38, of Kingston, agreed to enter the plea on one felony count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to a plea agreement filed Saturday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Poszeluznyj faced several dozen charges in county court, including 174 felonies. Poszeluznyj, according to a criminal information filed Saturday in conjunction with the plea agreement, secured players’ club card pin numbers from patrons and provided them to frequent gambler Mark Helztel, who had “an ongoing personal relationship” with Poszeluznyj. Heltzel, 51, of Dallas, then gave the stolen information to former casino Vice President of Player Development Robert Pellegrini, 50, of Fairview Township, who duplicated the cards and loaded them with free play credits, according to prosecutors. Helztel then gambled with the fraudulent free play, winning $422,147 in a little under a year. The trio split the winnings, prosecutors say.

Former Browns player Reggie Rucker sentenced to 21 months in prison

Former Cleveland Browns player Reggie Rucker was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in prison for using charitable donations to help pay his gambling debt and personal expenses. Prosecutors said Rucker stole more than $110,000 in charitable donations to anti-violence groups he led. The 68-year-old pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of wire fraud and making false statements to law enforcement. Rucker served as executive director of Amer-I-Can, a non-profit in Shaker Heights, and president of Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance(CPA), an organization dedicated to resolve conflicts in Cleveland. According to records, Rucker withdrew $48,000 at casino ATMs in Tampa, Las Vegas, and Cleveland from the Amer-I-Can bank account from 2011 to 2015. He also allegedly paid gambling debts he incurred at a Las Vegas casino totaling $65,000 using money donated to Amer-I-Can and CPA.

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

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