A Brief Look at Crime 04/03 – 04/09

Paul Hobbs ex employee charged with embezzlement 

A former bookkeeper of US winemaker and consultant Paul Hobbs has been charged with embezzling more than US$190,000 while working at his winery in Napa Valley, according to court documents filed on Wednesday. Turner stands accused of taking money in sums of about $1,000 on a regular basis over a six year period, from 2010 to 2016. The theft was uncovered by another employee last spring and Turner was later fired and arraigned on embezzlement and forgery charges. Turner admitted the theft to her ex-employer and has already paid back the money, claiming that the embezzlement was driven by her addiction to gambling.

Gambling addiction connected to embezzlement charges

[T]he woman accused of embezzling more than $257,000 from the Hepzibah Public Service District, has struggled with an addiction to gambling, her attorney claims. Tom Dyer also says that his client will not dispute the charge. People in the community say Metz was always a friendly face at the PSD and someone who donated to the local church. “She seemed like a nice lady when you go down and pay her the bills,” Louie Marra said. “I was shocked this morning when I saw it.” Behind the shock, sits anger. “I don’t think [gambling] should be an excuse for her to take it from the people who are trying to make it out in the world,” said Joyce Jones, who pays her utility bills with cash.

Former Bank Manager Who Stole Money Gets Federal Sentence

A former senior manager at First Tennessee Bank who unlawfully obtained nearly $1 million in funds to feed his gambling habit was sentenced to a three-year prison term Monday in U.S. District Court in Greeneville. Miller was sentenced by Judge J. Ronnie Greer. He remains free on bond and will begin serving his prison term when he is assigned to a facility by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Miller lost more than $967,573 gambling on sports betting websites like DraftKings and FanDuel, diverting funds from bank accounts to gamble on a daily basis, according to statements today at his sentencing hearing in federal court. As part of the plea agreement with the government, Miller was ordered by Greer to pay restitution of $1,086,287. Miller was also sentenced to five years of suervised release after he gets out of prison.

Suspect in theft of nearly $100K from U.S. Navy casino in Japan is found in KC area

A woman arrested in Overland Park has been charged in federal court with stealing nearly $100,000 from a casino on a U.S. naval base in Japan.When federal authorities arrested Creseni this year, they first detained her for allegedly overstaying her visa. On Monday, she faced a federal charge of theft of public money, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri. According to court documents, Creseni, a Filipino national, had worked at the naval base in various positions since 2000. In 2015, she was the lead cashier in the game and slot room at the base’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation center. The Yokosuka base is the Navy’s largest in Asia. A similar theft at another base was reported in 2010, when $67,000 went missing from a club at Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan, according to the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Solicitor who ‘borrowed’ £1.2m from client account struck off for dishonesty

A solicitor with an unblemished 38-year career has been struck off the roll after the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found he had acted dishonestly when using money on his firm’s client account to feed a sudden and short-lived gambling addiction. In 2016, following the deaths of a colleague and of a close friend, mounting work pressures and difficulties in the wake of a negligence claim against the firm, Sedgley turned to online gambling. In the space of two months between 15 February and 16 April 2016, the 66-year-old solicitor made 59 transfers totalling more than £1.2m from the firm’s client account to his own personal account. ‘A serious aggravating factor, of course, was that the respondent’s conduct had been dishonest. It was deliberate, calculated, and repeated,’ the tribunal said.

Kingman, Arizona, Says Official Embezzled $1.1 Million

Kingman, Arizona, has sued its former interim finance director for $1.1 million it claims she embezzled during eight years to pay off gambling debts at Nevada casinos and other bills. Investigations began in September 2015, after Richards’ bank tipped off the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations to “highly unusual activity involving Ms. Richards’ bank accounts,” according to the complaint. When in November 2015 the state and feds informed the city of widespread fraud, it fired Richards immediately and fired Heinfeld & Meech a week later.

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