A Brief Look at Crime 02/19 – 02/25

Dozens of People Recount Pattern of Sexual Misconduct by Las Vegas Mogul Steve Wynn

Not long after the billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn opened his flagship Wynn Las Vegas in 2005, a manicurist who worked there arrived at the on-site salon visibly distressed following an appointment in Mr. Wynn’s office. Sobbing, she told a colleague Mr. Wynn had forced her to have sex, and she repeated that to others later. After she gave Mr. Wynn a manicure, she said, he pressured her to take her clothes off and told her to lie on the massage table he kept in his office suite, according to people she gave the account to. The manicurist said she told Mr. Wynn she didn’t want to have sex and was married, but he persisted in his demands that she do so, and ultimately she did disrobe and they had sex, the people remember her saying. After being told of the allegations, the woman’s supervisor said she filed a detailed report to the casino’s human-resources department recounting the episode.

Beyond this incident, dozens of people The Wall Street Journal interviewed who have worked at Mr. Wynn’s casinos told of behavior that cumulatively would amount to a decades long pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Wynn. Some described him pressuring employees to perform sex acts. In response to written questions about the manicurist’s and others’ allegations, Mr. Wynn said, “The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.”

he Journal contacted more than 150 people who work or had worked for Mr. Wynn; none reached out to the Journal on their own. Most of those who spoke to the Journal about Mr. Wynn said they worried that doing so could hurt their ability to work elsewhere because of his influence in the casino industry and the state. Former employees said they sometimes entered fake appointments in the books to help other female workers get around a request for services in Mr. Wynn’s office or arranged for others to pose as assistants so they wouldn’t be alone with him. They told of female employees hiding in the bathroom or backrooms when they learned he was on the way to the salon. “Everybody was petrified,” said Jorgen Nielsen, a former artistic director at the salon. Mr. Nielsen said he and others repeatedly told high-level company executives Mr. Wynn’s sexual advances were causing a problem, but “nobody was there to help us.”

Professional gambler the ‘Pencil Man’ convicted of £2.1m betting fraud

A professional Merseyside gambler who swindled his victims out of over £2m was today found guilty of five counts of fraud. John Bailey, 45, known as ‘Pencil Man’, and from Waterloo, used his “powers of persuasion” to encourage people to ‘invest’ in his alleged businesses then used the money to fund his gambling habit.It was a seven-word warning that struck fear into the heart of bookies across the country: “The Pencil Man is in your area.” The electronic alert referred to John Bailey, whose betting slip sleight-of-hand tricked bookmakers out of vast fortunes. The Waterloo man’s scam was simple, but well-rehearsed and very-effective. Bailey, who was described by his victims as “confident”, “polite” and “self-effacing”, retrieved betting slips written in pencil which had already been time-stamped, and scribbled winning bets on them before slipping them back over the counter. He was so feared that he was banned by injunction from one chain – and the betting industry made wholesale changes to make Bailey’s modus operandi impossible.

Wayne Man Admits To Embezzling $13.8M From Employer

Atownship man Wednesday admitted to embezzling more than $13 million from his employer to support his gambling expenses and lavish lifestyle, authorities announced. Dfouni was the chief operating office for company that owns and operates hotels in New York and New Jersey from 1996 to 2015. From 2007 to September 2015, Dfouni negotiated lease contracts between his company and two others, which totaled millions of dollars, Carpenito said. Dfouni arranged for the payments to be sent directly to him. These payments included signing bonuses for Dfouni. He was expected to keep the bonuses and pay the remaining money to his company, Carpenito said. Instead, Dfouni skimmed part of the payments to his company to “support his lavish lifestyle and gambling expenses,” Carpenito said. Dfouni embezzled about $13.8 million from his employer, Carpenito said. Dfouni also failed to report more than $27.7 million in income to the IRS from 2007 to 2014, which included the funds he embezzled, Carpenito said.

Store employee steals more than $250,000 worth of lottery tickets

A Tallahassee store clerk is accused of taking lotto tickets for himself without paying for them, costing the Florida Lottery more than $250,000. According to an investigation by the Florida Lottery Division of Security, Shahi had been printing large amounts of Florida Lottery online game tickets for his own use. They say Shahi also played numerous scratch-off tickets from the store’s inventory without paying for it. Investigators note that Shahi’s wife owns the store. Documents allege Shahi even went so far as to delete footage from the DVR inside the store, printing off and stealing more than 6,000 tickets in one instance. Investigators say the total loss incurred by the Florida Lottery was $255,299.79. When investigators interviewed Shahi, he admitted to having a “gambling problem.” He told officials he had been printing off the Pick 3 tickets for himself because he had a loan to repay.

Former financial officer at Milwaukee box company to plead guilty to embezzling $592,000

The former controller for a defunct Milwaukee box maker has agreed to plead guilty to charges he embezzled nearly $600,000 from the company to pay gambling debts and personal expenses. The fraud occurred multiple ways, according to federal prosecutors. Weber used company credit cards and company checks and falsified accounting records to hide his activities and even impersonated his boss to get loans to the company as it was faltering in late 2016. A plea agreement filed Monday indicates Weber expects to plead guilty to a single count of wire fraud. Prosecutors and his lawyer, Jonathan Lavoy, have agreed to recommend a prison sentence of 18 months. Weber has paid back $100,000 of the stolen funds, Lavoy said, and the agreement calls for him to make full restitution of $592,006.53. The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Gunmen Shoot 21 at Clandestine Cockfight in Mexican Border State

Based on a statement by the state prosecutor’s office, several masked gunmen opened fire on people gathered at the club late Saturday at approximately 11pm. Four were killed at the scene with an additional three succumbing to their wounds in transit to hospital. Two of the wounded were identified as children aged seven and 10. One victim, who died early Sunday morning, was identified as 15-year-old Juan Daniel Magallanes Rodríguez received a gunshot to the chest. Cockfighting is very popular in many parts of Mexico; the primary draw is the gambling. The activity also tends to invite organized crime and cartel elements due to the high-stakes wagers. Gun violence is also common. Cockfighting operations have also been discovered in the United States, typically along the southern border. The illegal operations are primarily run by illegal and legal immigrants from Mexico. Numerous operations have been closed down in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California.

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

 

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