The former owners of a York County cemetery have been charged with scamming customers out of $500,000. U.S. Attorney David Freed said Friday that a grand jury in U.S. Middle District Court indicted Theodore Martin, 54, and his 47-year-old wife Arminda, with mail fraud and conspiracy. Investigators claim the Martins embezzled the funds while operating Suburban Memorial Gardens in Dover. Some of the money was used for gambling, the feds said. They said that between 2003 and 2016 the Martins stole money provided by about 200 customers for prepaid services for burial plots and vaults, caskets and grave markers. Each charge against the Martins carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, Freed said. He said the charges stem from a probe by the inspector general’s office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
A Fletcher man is free on $15,000 bond after being charged with embezzling livestock funds. He was targeted during an investigation by a Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) special ranger. Marty Robert Maahs, 33, made his initial appearance April 9 in Jackson County District Court, where he was charged with felony counts of obtaining cash under false pretenses, embezzlement greater than $25,000 and sale of secured property, court records indicate. Bank officials were concerned of possible illicit activities by Maahs in connection to a bank loan valued at more than $1 million, in which he put up cattle as collateral. Through the investigation’s course, Williamson said he discovered that Maahs had disposed of livestock proceeds without payment to the bank. The investigation also revealed embezzlement of livestock funds, false statement and representation of collateral to the bank and the sale of mortgaged personal property without payment to the bank. Investigators believe that gambling may have been where the stolen money went.
It’s a Kansas City first, according to police. More than 100 birds were rescued Wednesday in a suspected cockfighting operation busted on the east side of Kansas City. The cockfighting ring was discovered by an animal control officer when he was called out to the neighborhood near 24th Street and Cypress Avenue for a stray dog. When he got in the area, he heard a bunch of the sounds of chickens and suspected something sinister was going on. “These animals have been bred to fight,” said KCMO Animal Control Special Investigator James Donovan. “They were very aggressive. They attacked several of our officers when they were trying to remove them.” “Usually there is gambling and narcotic activity that goes along with this type of operation, but it is a pretty good sized business otherwise people wouldn’t be doing it,” Donovan said. In total, 134 birds were seized including roosters, hens and chicks and nine dogs and puppies for a total of 143 animals in this small space.
A man is currently in custody at the Missoula Police Department after receiving multiple charges following a robbery at the Nickel Ante Casino April 13. According to Police Sgt. Mike Herbert, the alleged robber pointed a gun at a casino employee and demanded money. Witnesses said that Antil allegedly fired numerous rounds as he was being followed by people from the casino. No one was reported injured in the shooting. The suspect later admitted to the police department via court documents that he fired his gun. Unlike other counties, Missoula County, which is located in western Montana, has seen numerous casino robberies in the past few years.
A Walnut Creek resident pleaded guilty Friday to conducting an illegal gambling operation involving video slot machines installed at businesses from Sacramento to San Jose. In violation of California law, the organization, including Levy, installed and maintained video slot machines at businesses open to the public across Northern California. The members split the proceeds of the machines with the owners of the small businesses where they were installed. The investigation began in September 2015 and followed a similar probe of a suspect known as “Dino the Casino,” an Israeli national named Nive Hagay, who pleaded guilty in May 2017 to a count of illegal gambling and one count of cocaine distribution. He was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to forfeit about $320,000 in cash, vehicles and other assets.
Two men pleaded guilty to running a cockfighting operation in Powhatan County that involved more than 300 fighting birds. Authorities seized more than 300 gamebirds from the property, along with a dog and two pigs. A large quantity of animal fighting paraphernalia was seized from the property including 122 short knives, sparring muffs, and medication and supplements used to enhance the gamebirds ability to fight. The cases were prosecuted by attorneys with Attorney General Herring’s first in the nation Animal Law Unit, with assistance from Powhatan officials, the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force, Louisa CART, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the ASPCA. In 2015, Herring created the nation’s first OAG Animal Law Unit to serve as a training and prosecution resource for state agencies, investigators, and Commonwealth’s Attorneys around the state dealing with matters involving animal fighting, cruelty, and welfare. Illegal animal fighting is closely tied to illegal gambling, drug and alcohol crimes, and violence against animals has been shown to be linked to violence towards other people.
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