A Brief Look at Crime 07/16 – 07/22

Schoolboy, 13, blows £80,000 gambling online after using his father’s business credit cards to fund his addiction

A 13-year-old schoolboy blew £80,000 gambling online using his father’s business credit cards to fund his addiction. The youngster, from Lancashire, started placing bets after seeing adverts for online bookmakers while watching a football match at Wembley. He took pictures of cards on his mobile phone and set up a betting account using his company director father’s identity. He became addicted to sports gambling, placing hundreds of bets a week on football matches and horses, staking as much as £3,000 each time. The teen told the Mirror: ‘I had no idea that ­gambling could be an addiction like smoking, drinking or drugs. It seemed like fun and I thought I would make money too. ‘It was just far too easy. I just had to put in dad’s name, ­address, date of birth and card details and checked a box saying I was 18 – it took literally seconds to register and start gambling.’ He had to see a psychotherapist to help curb his addiction after it almost tore the family apart. The boy’s story comes as new Government figures reveal 25,000 children aged 11-16 are addicted to gambling.

Gardens man admits to embezzling $1.5 million 

A decade ago, Keegan Garner was accepting plaudits for a humorous book wrote about his high school escapades, was working as a stand-up comic and dreamed of snaring a gig on the Late Show with David Letterman. On Friday, the 34-year-old Palm Beach Gardens man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for embezzling $1.5 million while working as a vice president of sales in the Gardens office of Denison Yacht Sales, a company owned by a friend. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra rejected defense attorney Jack Goldberger’s request to place Garner on house arrest so the father of two could earn money, repay the yacht broker, support his children and continue to get help to overcome his addictions to gambling and alcohol. “If people know you can steal $1.5 million and get probation, you’re sending a message to the public, ‘Go for it. What do you have to lose?’” Marra said, rejecting the plea for leniency. He also ordered Garner to repay the company.

Six Kansas massage parlors were fronts for prostitution, generated millions, feds say 

Five people were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday for allegedly using six massage parlors in Lawrence, Topeka and Salina as fronts for prostitution. The charges include conspiracy, interstate racketeering, bank fraud and money laundering. Together, the five people generated millions of dollars in revenue, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas. The release states: Ma Li Vanskike, 67, operated ABC Massage, which was formerly known as Naima Therapy, in Lawrence as a front for prostitution. She allegedly laundered more than $1 million in revenue from the parlor at Harrah’s Casino in North Kansas City. The Nielsens are charged with two counts of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud, five counts of laundering and one count of racketeering. Li and Mills are charged with two counts of conspiracy, two counts of interstate racketeering and four counts of money laundering. Money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Bank fraud can be punished by up to 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million.

$50G lottery winner fatally shot outside Lady Luck Pub, report says 

A Cleveland man who claimed a $50,000 scratch-off lottery prize just last week didn’t stay alive long enough to spend the money. The victim, identified as Isaac Carson Jr., 37, was fatally shot Tuesday outside Cleveland’s Lady Luck Pub, family and friends said. Carosn, 37, was shot in the abdomen after an altercation outside the pub, police and family members told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Carson’s father, mother and brother and friends told the newspaper that they believe he was targeted, because it became known that he had won money. “I told him on Monday to not tell too many people about the money,” his father Issac Carson Sr. said. “The next day they killed him.” Family and friends said Carson “talked extensively” about the money he won because he was so happy. He also told friends he was thinking about starting his own business.

Michigan woman to pay back $2.4 million stolen from employer, IRS

After writing over 270 checks to herself without her employer’s knowledge, a Michigan woman has been ordered to serve three years in federal prison and repay more than $2.4 million to the IRS and her former employer. As part of the plea agreement, Pawielski must pay back the $1,962,611 to Millennium Machinery, along with $511,433 in restitution to the IRS. Pawielski, who has since undergone treatment for a gambling addiction, used the embezzled money to gamble at a casino and for other personal use. To hide the unauthorized checks she wrote to herself, Pawielski altered checking information in her employer’s accounting software to make it look like the payments were going to the company’s suppliers.

Guilty plea for Indiana cattle broker who gambled investments

An Indiana cattle broker, who took his bull calf investor money straight to the casino, plead guilty this week to one charge of wire fraud in federal court. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Brian D. Jones agreed to pay back the $473,000 he took from his victims and could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. ccording to court documents, Jones operated a business buying bull calves from dairy farms in Wisconsin and selling them to cattle ranches in Texas and Missouri. He began soliciting investors in 2015 promising sizable returns for the investments. Rather than invest the funds, prosecutors say the cattle broker used the funds for his personal benefit such as gambling at casinos. The indictment also alleges that Jones used the investment funds to pay “returns” back to earlier investors as if the funds had actually generated income through investment in his business. By the end of 2015, the indictment says, Jones had squandered funds from the cattle purchasers and was in debt with his suppliers and purchasers. 

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

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