A Brief Look at Crime 09/25 – 10/01

Father, son plead guilty to running illegal sports betting ring out of San Diego card room

A father and son accused of running a bookmaking operation out of the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room on El Cajon Boulevard pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court Tuesday to a racketeering conspiracy. Segal’s son, Sydney Segal, 34, was an employee who managed the cage at the casino and admitted to co-mingling the illegal wagers with the card room’s legal profits, according to the plea agreement. He further admitted to acting as the operation’s bookkeeper, keeping a record of winning and losing bets. The indictment alleges the operation generated nearly $1 million in profits. Sanders Segal received 10 percent of profits in the enterprise, he admitted.

Teen Sitter, Her Mom and Beau Abandoned Infant at NY Casino

A 14-year-old babysitter, her 16-year-old boyfriend and the sitter’s 44-year-old mother have been arrested after allegedly abandoning a 9-month-old child at a Long Island casino. Authorities say the infant’s mother hired the teenage sitter, who claimed to be 18, from a childcare website on Monday. The mother didn’t arrive to pick her baby up at the pre-designated time, and the trio called police around 6:40 p.m. When cops got to the home in Ronkonkoma, police say the caregivers said they had resolved the issue and had arranged to meet the baby’s mother.

The sitter’s mother, Dejuana Stewart, and her daughter, who live in Ronkonkoma, along with the teenager’s 16-year-old boyfriend, who lives in Brooklyn, arranged to meet the baby’s mother at Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia. But there was an argument about pick-up arrangements and payment, and the trio ended up leaving the baby in a carrier on a bench outside, according to police. The teenage boyfriend was the one who left the carrier, police say. He initially walked back to the car, but then went back to the bench, picked up the baby and brought the child inside to a security guard, officials say. The boyfriend told security he found the baby outside, police say. He then went back outside and drove off with his girlfriend and her mom.

Online gambling firm 888 hit with record £7.8m penalty

The Gambling Commission said there were “significant flaws” in the firm’s social responsibility processes. The regulator highlighted a technical failure which meant 7,000 customers who had chosen to bar themselves from their 888 accounts were still able to gamble. Another customer bet more than £1.3m over 13 months before he was identified as having a problem. The Gambling Commission said “the lack of interaction with the customer, given the frequency, duration and sums of money involved in the gambling, raised serious concerns about 888’s safeguarding of customers at-risk of gambling harm”. The chief executive of rival betting company Ladbrokes Coral told the BBC that the whole sector was in the process of learning how best to manage the problem of vulnerable gamblers. “We have a responsibility to look after our customers. Ladbrokes Coral are also on that journey and there are issues that we’ve found in the past. But we are working with the Gambling Commission,” said Jim Mullen.

Arizona man accused of stealing $711K in taxes from clients

An Arizona man has been indicted for allegedly stealing more than $700,000 in federal employment taxes from Phoenix-area businesses over a two-year period. Internal Revenue Service officials say John Chandler Propstra is accused of tax evasion and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 13 in U.S. District Court in Phoenix. Authorities say Propstra owned and operated entities that acted as outsourced human resources departments for his small- and medium-sized business clients who didn’t want to handle payroll or other functions internally. Investigators say Propstra failed to pay the IRS nearly $711,000 in employment taxes from his clients’ businesses in tax years 2010 and 2011. They say Propstra spent most of the money on trips to Hawaii and Las Vegas, gambling online and at casinos, jewelry and tickets to sporting events.

Men posed as law enforcement before killing Kissimmee man

Osceola County deputies said two suspects accused of shooting and killing a Kissimmee man posed as law enforcement officers before robbing the victim. Darvis Houston was shot and killed in March at an illegal after-hours gambling location, deputies said. Investigators said two masked men, now identified as Chrisson Nicolaas, 31, and Christopher Brooks, 30, walked into Versatile Motor Sports on Michigan Avenue after posing as law enforcement officers and robbed Houston. Police said the men dressed in generic police gear. A struggle ensued and Houston was shot and killed, deputies said.

Bookkeeper who stole more than $1 million gets prison term

A bookkeeper who stole more than $1 million from her former employer to fuel her addictions is now headed to state prison. Virginia DeBerri received a six-year sentence on Friday. The 53-year-old Brick woman had pleaded guilty in January to theft by unlawful taking. Monmouth County prosecutors say DeBerri wrote herself more than 500 unauthorized company checks over a five-year period and deposited them into her personal bank account. She also increased her own salary by manipulating the company’s payroll without authorization. DeBerri’s attorney said his client has long struggled with Xanax, alcohol and gambling addictions and used the stolen money to finance those addictions.

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