A Brief Look at Crime 11/19 – 11/25

Chinese mother kills herself and her two children because she believed her husband was dead – only for it to emerge he is alive and FAKED accident for an insurance payout

A grieving Chinese woman has killed herself and her two young children after her husband faked his death in an attempt to claim insurance payout – but without her knowledge. Ms Dai, 31, apparently jumped into a pond bringing her four-year-old son and three-year-old daughter last Thursday in Xinhua County, south China’s Hunan Province, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency. Ms Dai’s husband, 34-year-old Mr He, had also hoped that his fake death could help him dodge his debts from internet gambling which amounted to more than 100,000 yuan (£11,000), according to Xinhua County police. Mr He bought a personal accident insurance worth one million yuan (£100,000) on September 7 without telling his wife, the police said in a statement on its official social media account. During the wee hours of September 19, Mr He used a borrowed car to fake his death. He produced a crash scene, which looked like he had accidentally driven the car into a river and died.

Northeast Ohio woman accused of stealing over $600,000 from elderly, disabled people

A northeast Ohio woman is accused of scamming elderly and disabled people while serving as their caregiver, allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of benefits, finances and even loans that she helped patients take out. Dotson reportedly used the stolen funds on gambling, entertainment and luxury purchases. According to the indictment, Dotson accessed financial accounts of an elderly man with disabilities and stole $633,736 by writing checks, using electronic payments and transfers, changing beneficiary designations and making ACH direct deposits. She allegedly issued duplicate paychecks to herself in amounts that exceed the “home health aid industry standards for earnings and supplies needed for care of victim.”

Little Egg Harbor couple sentenced for stealing Sandy funds

A couple from Little Egg Harbor was sentenced Friday for their roles in stealing $1.4 million from people whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, authorities said. Jeffrey Colmyer, 43, and his wife, Tiffany Cimino, 35, of Little Egg Harbor, diverted money paid by victims with Sandy relief funds to have their homes rebuilt and instead used it on luxury items and for gambling, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement. Colmyer was sentenced to seven years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan in Ocean County. Cimino was sentenced to five years of probation. The defendants must pay $695,402 in restitution to the victims and $655,243 to the state as restitution for the stolen Sandy relief funds. In addition, Colmyer must pay $56,472 to the state for back taxes, and Cimino must pay $56,332.

Ottawa man gets 6 years for embezzling from La Salle company

An Ottawa man is headed to prison for 6 years for embezzling as much as $1.8 million from his former La Salle employer to support a gambling habit. When offered a chance to speak at his Friday sentencing, Marshall Martyn acknowledged an addiction that he didn’t confront until well after he’d taken an irreplaceable sum from Pipe Vision, CIPP and Fast Pipe, where he had managed the books until his dismissal in early 2017. “I know what I did was wrong and I accept responsibility,” Martyn told Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. He added later, “Gambling is an addiction. It was much bigger than me and I was too weak to handle it.” Ryan was only partially persuaded, however. The judge rejected the 10-year sentencing recommendation prosecutors had agreed to after Martyn pleaded guilty on Aug. 17; but Martyn and his lawyer were unable to secure a prison term near the 4-year minimum. Martyn was charged a year ago with felony theft (more than $500,000 but less than $1 million) over a five-year period when the ran the companies’ books. The company, however, immediately disputed the amount taken and alleged Martyn embezzled $1.8 million.

Canada’s casinos used by criminal gangs, wealthy Chinese to launder over US$75 million

The briefing took place just a few days after David Eby began his new job as British Columbia’s attorney general – and it began with a warning. “Get ready,” Eby remembers being told by casino regulators in the western Canadian province. “I think we are going to blow your mind.” What they showed him was footage of individuals wheeling suitcase stuffed with C$20 (US$15) bills into casinos. Others used hockey bags to haul the cash. Surveillance videos then showed the individuals trading in the cash for casino chips.

It was Eby’s first glimpse of what some in the global intelligence community had taken to calling the Vancouver model – a scheme in which some of the province’s casinos were unwittingly used to launder more than C$100 million during the past decade. “We are famous internationally – or, more accurately, we have become infamous – for money laundering,” Eby told a federal parliamentary committee earlier this year. “It’s just mind boggling,” Eby says in an interview. “The sheer volume and the size of these transactions on a regular basis in casinos is just astounding.”

Former Indiana CU Assistant Manager Sentenced for Bank Fraud

Paula Awe, a former assistant manager of an Indiana credit union who ran a check-kiting scheme along with her manager, was sentenced last week to 18 months in prison. U.S. District Court Judge Jon E. DeGulio in Hammond, Ind., also ordered Awe to pay $180,000 restitution and to serve two years of supervised release following her prison sentence. Awe and her manager, Sandra Santay, of the Lakeside Federal Credit Union in Hammond, had each been operating two independent check-kiting schemes that fraudulently inflated their respective share accounts over three years, according to court documents. The scheme was detected by a routine NCUA examination. Santay, who managed the credit union for 37 years, was sentenced in May to 27 months in prison and was ordered to pay restitution of $491,169. Santay spent the credit union’s funds on her gambling addiction. Awe used the credit union’s funds to pay personal expenses. 

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