A Brief Look at Crime 12/31 – 01/13

2-year-old girl dies after being shot in head; father accused of putting her in danger

A 2-year-old girl was shot and killed when gunfire erupted early Tuesday at a Tennessee apartment complex, police say. Detectives said the girl’s father, Mikal Grogan, 23, of Memphis, placed his daughter in danger by exposing her to gambling, illegal drug sales and violence. He is being charged with aggravated child neglect and endangerment. According to Memphis police, Grogan admitted to selling marijuana out of his apartment and was playing dice and gambling the night of the deadly shooting. Witnesses said they heard more than a dozen shots fired at the Enclave apartment homes off Hickory Hill on Tuesday morning. The toddler was killed after a bullet hit her in the head. “I was hearing a lady down here saying, ‘Oh, my God! My baby, my baby.’” Police said it is unclear where exactly the shooting happened, but it left more than 12 bullet holes in the walls and shattered glass from a porch door.

Child gambler epidemic: Worrying new figures reveal 55,000 under-17s have ‘a problem’ with another 70,000 at risk

The alarming scale of children’s addiction to betting is laid bare today in an official report. It says the number of problem gamblers aged 11 to 16 has quadrupled in two years to 55,000. A further 70,000 youngsters are at risk, according to the audit by the Gambling Commission. It found that a worrying 450,000 children – one in seven of those in the 11- 16 age group – bet regularly. They stake an average of £16 a week each. The money goes on fruit machines, on bingo, in betting shops or online, which are all illegal for under-18s. The commission’s report also said: Lord Chadlington, former chairman of Action on Addiction, demanded an advertising crackdown. ‘We are on the brink of a gambling epidemic in this country,’ the peer said. ‘I am calling for a stop to gambling advertising on live sporting events on television, and these numbers reinforce the need for urgent action. ‘Italy, which has some 20 per cent fewer problem gamblers than the UK, is banning it. Why is this bombardment of gambling advertising on television continuing in the UK?’ The number of children with gambling problems has quadrupled in two years to 55,000. Predatory companies which use tactics that entice vulnerable kids must be confronted head on. This is a generational scandal.

Stephen Gionfriddo, former Middletown mayor, pleads guilty to stealing from his law firm and his brother

Gionfriddo stole more than $500,000 from a Rocky Hill law firm where he worked, then stole from his brother to pay the firm back, according to a statement Tuesday from John H. Durham, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. The case is the second conviction for Gionfriddo. He was a Republican councilman for 14 years and was mayor for about six months in 1993 when he filled the term of another mayor who stepped down from the post. He is one of only three Republican mayors in Middletown in the last 25 years. He served prison time after a 2006 conviction for stealing more than $600,000 from clients he represented as an attorney. He said during court hearings in that case that a gambling addiction led to huge debts piling up.

CG Technology Receives $2 Million Fine from Nevada Gaming Commission 

Last Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission accepted a $2 million settlement by Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology related to serious compliance failures and miscalculating customer payouts. CG Technology has a long history of rule violations in Las Vegas and had been concerned that the Nevada Gaming Commission might move to revoke its license. CG Technology operates eight sports books for major casinos based in the greater Las Vegas area. This includes the likes of The Hard Rock, The Tropicana, The Venetian, The Cosmopolitan, The Palms, M Resort Spa Casino, The Palazzo, and the Silverton Casino Hotel.

Over the past five years, however, the company has fallen foul of the state’s gambling regulator on three occasions. These serious compliance failures have subsequently resulted in CG Technology paying three out of the state’s top ten biggest fines ever levied on a Nevada-based gaming company. This includes a number-one spot on the list after forking out a massive $5.5 million in 2014 to settle a litany of charges involving illegal gambling and money laundering. As part of the same case, CG Technology also had to may a whopping $22.5 million to the U.S. government, including $16.5 million to the U.S. attorney offices in Eastern District of New York and Nevada, and a further $6 million to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The latest case saw CG Technology accused of a whole catalog of violations and errors. This list of infringements included accepting wagers from outside the state via its mobile sports betting app, accepting wagers after events had finished, and making incorrect payouts to 1,483 bettors. The firm also misconfigured a satellite sports betting station for a 2018 Super Bowl party taking place at an unnamed Las Vegas casino.

Former WPSD employee gets probation in $210,000 theft

A former employee of the William Penn School District who stole more than $210,000 to support a gambling habit was sentenced to 23 months of intermediate punishment. Rose Marie Lyons was also given three years of consecutive probation and ordered to repay more than $30,000 as part of the sentence imposed by Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony Scanlon. According to charging documents, Lyons formerly served as president and recording secretary of the William Penn Education Support Personnel Association. She had also worked in an administrative role at the school district. The union represents about 90 employees of the district, including instructional assistants, secretaries, staff nurses and library assistants. Money collected by the association is used to pay dues to the Pennsylvania State Education Association, as well as for the benefit of the union. Two newly appointed members of the union discovered a misappropriation of funds and filed a report with the Lansdowne Police Department in January 2016. An affidavit of probable cause for Lyons’ arrest indicated that she had “complete control” of the association’s financial accounts between 2009 and 2015 and appeared to be responsible for numerous unauthorized withdrawals and deposits.

Ex-tax collector gets prison for stealing $250K from town

A Massachusetts town’s former tax collector who stole about $250,000 in municipal funds has been sentenced to a year in prison. The Telegram & Gazette reports that 66-year-old Marcia Langelier was sentenced Tuesday in Worcester Superior Court to a year in prison after pleading guilty to charges of embezzlement by a municipal officer and making false entries in corporate books. Langelier has been ordered to pay restitution, which will be determined at a later hearing. Prosecutors say the former Barre tax collector stole money from 2005 into 2011 while serving in the elected position. Officials say Langelier changed town records to hide the thefts. Prosecutors say she used the stolen funds on gambling.

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