A Brief Look at Crime 04/02 – 04/08

William Hill fined £6.2m over problem gambling and money laundering

William Hill has been fined £6.2 million by the Gambling Commission over its “systemic” failure to protect customers from problem gambling and prevent money laundering. Senior management at William Hill failed to ensure the bookmaker’s anti-money laundering and social responsibility processes were effective, the regulator said. This resulted in 10 customers being allowed to deposit large sums of money linked to criminal offences which resulted in gains for William Hill of around £1.2m between November 2014 and August 2016, a Gambling Commission investigation has revealed. William Hill did not seek adequate information about the source of the customers’ funds or establish whether they were problem gamblers, the Commission said. Examples of William Hill’s failures identified by the Gambling Commission. A customer was allowed to deposit £654,000 over nine months withoutsource of funds checks being carried out. The customer lived inrented accommodation and earned around £30,000 per year. Another customer was allowed to deposit £541,000 over 14 months. The customer was earning around £30,000 a year and was funding his gambling habit by stealing from his employer.

Man, woman arrested in armed robbery of Las Vegas casino

Police say a man and a woman have been arrested in the gunpoint robbery of a cashier at a Las Vegas Strip-area casino. Officer Larry Hadfield said Wednesday that Tina Marie Lopez and Jason Michael Lockwood, both 36, were arrested Tuesday at an address in southeast Las Vegas. Police earlier distributed security camera photos of a woman with a gun inside and a getaway vehicle outside the South Point Casino during the late Monday robbery. No shots were fired and no one was hurt. Hadfield didn’t disclose how much was stolen. Records showed Lopez was being held on $70,000 bail and Lockwood was held on $20,000 bail pending a Friday court appearance at which each is expected to have lawyers appointed to represent them on robbery and conspiracy charges.

How a £1 bet sparked a €10m betting spree and prison for this postmaster

The shocking downfall of a Wexford postmaster who ended up in jail after stealing €1.75m from An Post during a €10m betting spree, began with a modest £1 bet on a World Cup soccer match. Tony O’Reilly ended up losing his freedom, his job and his marriage because of his uncontrollable gambling addiction that led him to increasingly devious thefts from the national postal service. Those thefts included stealing his betting money from pristine bundles of post office cash with a pair of precision pliers so they would not be missed in Gorey post office where he had risen to branch manager. Today his shocking and disturbing tale is published in LIFE magazine together with an exclusive extract from the book he has co-written with Sunday Independent columnist Declan Lynch titled Tony 10: The astonishing story of the postman who gambled €10,000,000… and lost it all.

Man tried to run over officer while fleeing casino 

Connecticut State Police say a man has been arrested after attempting to run over a police officer while fleeing the scene of an assault at a casino. The Record-Journal reports police say 22-year-old Justin Eccleston, of Meriden, Connecticut, was charged Saturday with reckless driving, second-degree reckless endangerment, engaging in police pursuit, driving under the influence and other violations. State police say Eccleston fled from tribal police who were investigating an assault at Mohegan Sun Casino. They say he attempted to run over the officer while leaving the casino. Troopers pursued Eccleston on the highway, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

Businessman, 32, ‘who preyed on cash-strapped pension holders by promising to release their savings… 

A businessman who promised cash-strapped pension holders he could release their savings early blew £1million of their cash on gambling, holidays and supercars, a court heard. They included people unable to work through injury, a failing business owner, an ex-wife made homeless following her divorce and parents looking to renovate their home. With the help of Ray King, 54, Locke allegedly offered applicants an upfront payment equivalent to half of their pot, with the remainder invested in ‘sham’ eco-friendly firms. The Dorset-based pair are accused of creating an ‘elaborate façade’ comprising hundreds of documents to convince genuine companies, including Friends Life and Virgin Money, that they were operating a legitimate pension scheme.

Gambling addict ordered to pay a half-million dollars for embezzling from OKC business

An admitted gambling addict apologized before she was sentenced to prison for stealing nearly a half-million dollars while bookkeeping for a family business in Oklahoma City. “They trusted me with all of their business finances. … I violated their trust in many ways,” Kay Ann Locke said at her Tuesday sentencing in Oklahoma City federal court. “I want to tell them how very, very sorry I am. … When I was gambling, I was not in my right mind.” U.S. District Judge David L. Russell said he believes Locke, 52, of Edmond, is remorseful but that it’s “easy to have remorse when caught.” “I can’t overlook the number of times you did this and how long you did this,” the judge said. Locke embezzled from Delta Promotions Team Corp., a screen printing business, for about six years. The judge chose to sentence Locke to 37 months in federal prison. Locke also was ordered to pay $522,667 more in restitution, mostly to the business, which still is in operation. Locke has already paid back $30,000 to the business by selling her home. During the sentencing, the founder of the business, Tim Todd, called Locke’s actions “evil and wicked.” “Our lives have been shattered,” Todd told the judge before the punishments were announced. “This is not a person with just a gambling addiction. … She treated herself very well. This is a heartless individual.”

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

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