A Brief Look at Crime 10/01 – 10/07

Judge sentences ‘pariah’ of Pawnee in embezzlement scheme that forced longtime business there to close

A woman dubbed a “pariah” in her hometown of Pawnee was sentenced to prison Friday in connection with the embezzlement of nearly $400,000 from her former workplace, which has since closed. A federal judge sentenced Krystal K. Smith, 45, to 18 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to bank fraud and false income tax return charges. Smith, in a May 15 plea agreement with federal prosecutors, admitted to embezzling $385,999 from Columbia Metal Products Co., where she worked as an office manager. The Kansas City, Missouri-based company, which did business under the name Columbia Windows and Doors, had a presence in Pawnee for more than 30 years, Oklahoma Secretary of State records indicate. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McLoughlin told U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan during the Friday sentencing hearing that Smith’s actions, which began in 2009, caused a “ripple effect” across the community when the company officers discovered the scheme in 2016. “The company had to close its plant in Pawnee because of what happened,” McLoughlin said. Smith attributed her addiction to casino gambling for both the bankrupting of her family and the embezzlement of the company funds. For about the past 10 years, Smith’s gambling has been “completely out of control” with her gambling on a daily basis at the height of her addiction, according to the memo.

Police save baby from hot car outside RI casino; mother arrested

The mother of a 3-month-old girl was arrested for cruelty or neglect of a child after police found the baby in a hot car in a casino parking lot. Police say 26-year-old Halston Borglund left her daughter alone inside a car, covered by a blanket in the backseat, Wednesday morning. The driver’s window was down, and the car was running, according to an officer working security at the Twin River Casino, outside of which the baby was found. “I’m just curious why other people didn’t see that. I mean, people walk by – or even the car next to them, just look,” resident Janet Short said. The baby girl was taken to the hospital, where she is listed in fair condition. She is now in the custody of authorities. Police say Borglund told them she ran into the casino to grab her keys, but investigators later discovered she was inside for more than an hour and a half. “It’s crazy. You should never trade gambling for the life of some kids,” said casino visitor John Ferreira. Borglund has a criminal history that includes arrests for felony breaking and entering, identity fraud and felony larceny.

961,897 reasons Wichita lawyer is charged with taking from client

A Wichita lawyer told an FBI agent that he was a compulsive gambler being treated for addiction — who used some of his elderly client’s trust money for his gambling. And he used the money for a lot more than gambling and luxury cars, according to an affidavit filed in the criminal case against the lawyer, Larry Toomey. In all, Toomey took $961,897.25 from the woman’s accounts and spent it in ways that didn’t benefit his client, the affidavit says. The woman, identified only by her initials, is now 103 and living in a Wichita nursing home. The affidavit — a court document signed by an investigator and detailing why someone was arrested and charged — was released Wednesday after The Eagle requested it from Sedgwick County District Court. “Some notable transactions” from the one bank account included “gambling transactions for a total of $395,826.” When it was all over, the affidavit said, Toomey had violated his professional responsibilities and the Kansas Uniform Trust Code for seven years, until this past March. The investigators suspected, the affidavit says, that “the crime was concealed by the fact that Toomey didn’t keep a beneficiary” informed of expenditures from the trust.

Gambling ringleader dubbed herself the ‘LeBron James of poker’

The manager of an illicit West Village gambling speakeasy pompously described herself as “the LeBron James of poker,” prosecutors revealed Wednesday. Geeta Singh was captured on wiretap uttering the superlative, ADA Mark Mohr said Wednesday at her Manhattan Supreme Court arraignment, where she pleaded not guilty to six counts of promoting gambling. She was busted last week along with 32 others for allegedly participating in a large-scale drug and gambling ring, according to the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor. Mohr described Singh as a lead promoter of the “private” poker club operated out of an apartment at 446 Avenue of the Americas. Singh, who hails from India, used the online service “Meetup” to bring in clients and ran the tables, which required a minimum of $200 to play, the prosecutor said. The operation also peddled cocaine and heroin out of a separate apartment at 536 East Fifth Street. Singh and her three partners raked in $200,000 each a year from the drug and gambling enterprise, Mohr said.

Men Arrested After Nearly $200,000 Stolen From Casino 

Two men have been arrested on charges of stealing nearly $200,000 from an Indian casino in Montgomery. Federal court records show that Timothy Dean Pettiway and Jory D’Michael Trayvunn Dumas were arrested Tuesday on theft charges in the Aug. 10 heist at Wind Creek casino. However, court records show prosecutors are seeking to dismiss Dumas from the complaint. An FBI agent wrote in charging documents that $192,800 was missing from two customer kiosks near the casino floor. The agent said surveillance video showed that a casino employee, who was not charged, had left keys on top of a machine that had been malfunctioning. The agent said the video showed Pettiway kneeling in front of the kiosk holding a money cassette.

INTERPOL-Led Operation Busts Thousands of Illegal World Cup Gambling Dens across Asia

An INTERPOL-led operation during the 2018 World Cup invovled *thousands of raids being carried out* across the Asia-Pacific region and suspects being arrested on illegal gambling charges, the organization said in a Friday press release. The seventh installment of operation SOGA (short for soccer gambling) was conducted in the period between June 22 and July 16, or over the course of the major football championship. Coordinated by INTERPOL’s Organized and Emerging Crime Directorate and involving local police departments, *SOGA VII saw 14,900 raids at what appeared to be illegal gambling dens* be carried out. The illegal gambling operations were estimated to have handled more than $1.6 billion worth of bets ahead of and during this year’s World Cup. Raids took place across China, including Macau and Hong Kong, as well as Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. During the nearly month-long operation, police seized more than 1,000 computers, mobile phones, and other equipment allegedly used for the provision of illegal gambling services as well as *more than $1.7 million in cash*. INTERPOL said Friday that the equipment seized is being analyzed to help police authorities in future operations and assist current investigations.

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

Advertisements

Comments are disabled.

%d bloggers like this: