A Brief Look at Crime 02/27-03/5

Celeb Costa Rica Gambling Ring Members Fear They’ve Been Caught in Mob Wiretaps

Thirteen members and associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family were arrested on the Dec. 15 with one of those charged dubbed the “Bookie to the Stars”. Vincent “Vinny” Taliercio had Hollywood clients that included the likes of “Godfather” star James Caan, “Who’s The Boss” and “Taxi” star Tony Danza and Charlie Sheen. Other Hollywood actors believed to have been clients of the Brooklyn bookie included Regis Philbin, Paul Sorvino and and James L. Brooks. Former Major League Baseball player Pete Rose had also reportedly placed bets with Taliercio.

The Radar Online source further revealed:

“They probably caught some of these celebrities on the wiretaps,” the source said, adding the gamblers would usually place their bets with Vinny by telephone if they weren’t in New York. “Vinnie is not just a bookie — everybody who is anybody in the gambling world would call him up because he’s the best handicapper in the world,” the source told Radar. “He has dealt with all the big celebrities.” “Everybody went to Vinny for advice even the members of all five crime families. Anything you needed to know about sports that guy Vinny knew about it — he was like a walking encyclopedia — an almanac!” The ringleader Salvatore “Sallie” DeMeo, 76, is accused of running the online gambling site 4Spades.org based out of Costa Rica, which remains online to this day. The site, along with a lucrative loansharking and illegal cigarette smuggling business, is believed to have raked in millions of dollars, according to the indictment. DeMeo’s criminal history is said to date all the way back to 1984.

‘Pink collar’ crime: A rise in women embezzling funds 

Embezzlers aren’t your typical criminals. Most are business professionals- bookkeepers or office managers. Often they have no criminal history, not even parking tickets. And most embezzlers are women. “They’re moms, grandmas and wives. They’re not your typical thug,” explained Kelly Paxton, founder of PinkCollarCrime.com. The fraud examiner has seen a rise in the number of women in the workplace who steal from their employers. “One day I’m like, ‘All of my suspects are women,’” said Paxton. The latest FBI crime statistics show that nationwide more women were arrested for embezzlement than men. “They’re in trusted positions: Accounting, bookkeeping, mid-level manager,” Paxton explained. KGW reviewed more than a dozen recent cases in Oregon involving female embezzlers. The women were caught stealing anywhere from $6,000 to more than $1 million from businesses, community groups and schools. Most of the women were sentenced to probation and restitution. A few of them went to prison. The women stole for a variety of reasons, Grounds said. Some embezzled to support a gambling problem, while others used the money to indulge shopping or vacations.

Former local man with gambling addiction hired hitman to kill wife

A former Hillsboro resident has been convicted of conspiracy to commit murder after trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife, who formerly worked at American Electric Power in Hillsboro. Ludwick’s wife of 19 years, Kathleen Ludwick, testified last week in Franklin County Common Pleas Court that her husband had chronic money problems and a gambling addiction. She said she was the primary bread winner due to a 22-year job with American Electric Power and that she sometimes used her annual bonus to cover her husband’s debts, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The couple had no children and he was the sole beneficiary of her life insurance policy, a 410k account and a nearly $500,000 house in Madison County, according to the Dispatch. Lowell Ludwick wanted to hire someone to kill his wife at their West Jefferson home and make it look like a burglary that turned bad. But his plan was what turned bad because an acquaintance he trusted to help him went to the police, the newspaper reported.

Massive felony gambling raid in Marietta

Luxury cars, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, and jewelry were all seized in an illegal gambling raid. Three people are in jail after what police are calling a substantial organized crime investigation. Marietta police said this is a result of a two-year investigation. Detectives have been watching Gantts Food on Franklin Gateway and another convenience store on Windy Hill Road which police said is owned by the same man, Khubaib Hussain. Hussain along with two employees were arrested and charged with felony commercial gambling. Tuesday night, they were in the Cobb County Jail, but the stores were open, minus the gaming machines. Those were seized by state authorities Tuesday afternoon.

U.S. says ex-BNY Mellon unit employee embezzled $7 million

 

A former employee of a Bank of New York Mellon Corp unit was arrested on Wednesday on charges that he embezzled $7.1 million, which he used to pay for gambling debts and buy an outdoor pool, luxury cars and a gun safe. Christopher Canale, who worked for Bank of New York’s Pershing LLC unit, most recently as an accounts payable manager, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan. According to the complaint, beginning in December 2013, Canale authorized $2.53 million in wire transfers to companies and people who were not pre-approved vendors, including to an unnamed individual. During an interview with an in-house lawyer at Pershing and several other employees, Canale admitted he had wired out $2 million to $4 million to pay for personal debts and to “save his life because of a gambling addiction,” the complaint said. He also admitted he wired funds to offshore entities and individuals in exchange for watches and jewelry, which he used to pay for his gambling debts, the complaint said.

Gambler swiped thousands from London Zoo event to fund addiction

An events manager stole £92,000 after a corporate event at London Zoo in order to fund his gambling addiction. Alexander Beerjeraz, 26, was a manager at a catering firm providing food at the tourist attraction when he took nearly all the takings from the event last July. Beerjeraz was supposed to put nearly £100,000 into a company safe – but instead blew the cash on betting. He had been working for CH&Co Catering in Devonshire Square, near Liverpool Street station. Gregor McKinley, prosecuting, said: “His employers became suspicious because only about £10,000 had been banked from the event and they expected around £100,000. “Two weeks after the event the defendant was absent from work and asked to see members of the management team of the cantering company. “He confessed he had taken the money. He simply removed the cash rather than putting it in the safe.” The court heard none of the money taken had been recovered as Beerjeraz had already spent it on his gambling addiction.

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

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