A Brief Look at Crime 09/10 – 09/16

Gambling, guns a ‘recipe to die,’ SC official says as teen charged after two deaths

A South Carolina 17-year-old was arrested Wednesday following the
killing of two other teenagers, according to the Charleston Police Department. Two Charleston teens, 15-year-old Taleket Williams and 17-year-old Juquel Young, were shot to death just before 9 p.m Sunday outside of a West Ashley apartment complex, per counton2.com. Zamere Raeguel Treawn Brown was charged with murder and possession of a firearm in a violent crime, after he was taken into custody with assistance from U.S. Marshals, the police said. Police said that the Johns Island teen has been charged in Williams’ murder. The investigation into Young’s death remains ongoing. Brown was a classmate of Williams and Young at West Ashley High School at one point, according to abcnews4.com. Police Chief Luther Reynolds said Williams and Young, the suspects, and several other young men were hanging out near the basketball court, live5news.com reported. The teens were playing dice when a dispute escalated into the fatal shooting, said James Johnson, the S.C. president of the National Action Network, postandcourier.com reported. Johnson said many of the youngsters had guns, calling it “a recipe to die.”

Man killed, deputies identified in shooting in Casino Del Sol parking lot

Late Saturday, July 21, 39-year-old Vincent James Ewer II died in a
deputy-involved shooting in a parking lot at Casino Del Sol. The deputies involved in the shooting have been identified as Deputy Paul Petropoulos, a 22 year veteran, and Sergeant Aaron Cross, a 17 year veteran. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department said no deputies were injured in the incident, which started around 10 p.m. with a car chase. During the pursuit, the suspect rammed a Pascua Yaqui Police Department vehicle in the casino’s parking lot before running into a desert area. The PCSD said the armed suspect, who has not been identified, was then shot at by two deputies. The suspect was hit and died at the scene. An officer with the Pascua Yaqui Police Department suffered minor injuries but did not require hospitalization. One of the department canines also received minor injuries, but was treated and released back into his handler’s care.

Accountant sentenced for embezzling more than $860,000 from 4 businesses 

Through theft and forgery Justin Ha stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his employer AMH Inc. and three other business he did accounting for as a contractor. Ha blamed his addiction. “Your honor, I had a very bad gambling problem,” he said. At his sentencing Tuesday Ha asked the judge for probation. “I apologize to my former employer and to all the victims for what I have done to them,” he said. Circuit judge Rom Trader sentenced the 47-year-old to ten years in prison. “I don’t care what your reason was,” he said. “Nothing about that gave you the right to steal money from these people. You knew exactly what you were doing every time you did it.” Ha stole $866,000 and used the cash to pay credit card debts and student loans. He also paid for trips, and tabs at restaurants, bars and strip clubs. Randy Norfleet’s Building Maintenance Solutions was one of his victims. “It put me out of business. I’m done!” Norfleet told the court. “The financial impact of this is just so significant,” said Austin Hirayama of AMH, Inc.

Poker pro folds, pleads guilty in $6M ticket-flipping scam 

Federal prosecutors in California say a professional poker player has admitted he bilked investors out of more than $6 million in a Super Bowl and World Cup ticket-flipping scam. The U.S. Attorney’s office says Seyed Reza Ali Fazeli pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud. Prosecutors said Fazeli ran a Nevada-based company called Summit Entertainment that raised millions by promising to purchase tickets for resale to the Super Bowl and World Cup. He never bought the tickets and instead used the money for personal expenses and to pay off gambling debts, according to prosecutors. The 49-year-old faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced in January. Fazeli is facing civil lawsuits related to the scheme. He played on the pro poker circuit for several years in Las Vegas.

Securities agent gets prison time for millions in fraud 

A former North Dakota securities and insurance agent was sentenced Monday to more than 11 years in federal prison for swindling about 40 people out of millions of dollars over a 15-year-period to finance a lavish lifestyle including purchases of a Ford Mustang convertible sports car and country club dues. Kevin Wanner, 56, of Bismarck, also used the money from sham investments for home remodeling and private school tuition for his children, according to prosecutors who called Wanner’s actions “a case of ruthless victimization.” “You can’t turn over a single stone in this case without finding someone who has been emotionally bludgeoned by Mr. Wanner,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Chasesaid. Defense attorney Jeffrey Weikum maintained Wanner’s gambling addiction was the root of his criminal activity, and he had Wanner’s addiction counselor testify on his behalf.

Six-year sentence for Winnipeg accountant who embezzled $2M

A Winnipeg accountant with a gambling problem who spent seven years defrauding his employer of almost $2 million has been sentenced to six years in prison. Maximilian Panzo has 31 months left to serve after Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sadie Bond imposed the sentence Monday. Panzo pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000 after stealing $1,978,289.78 from Fineline Communications Ltd. between 2008 and 2015. “The crime that Mr. Panzo has committed was premeditated, sophisticated and ongoing. It was not impulsive. It was calculated and purposeful,” Bond said. By the time his fraud was discovered, Panzo had worked for the company for 25 years, and was seen as a trusted advisor. Panzo had a gambling habit and used some of the money he stole at casinos and online gambling websites, but Bond said that didn’t make much difference to her decision on his prison sentence.

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