A Brief Look at Crime 01/21 – 01/27

Firm’s chief finance officer stole £1million from employers to fund online gambling addiction

A firm’s chief finance officer stole £1million from his employers to fund his secret online gambling addiction. Steve Girling blew up to £50,000 a day in a three-year spree on web slots and roulette. He hid the dark secret from his family by pre-tending to be hard at work in his home office – when really he was placing constant bets. The dad of two was such a valued big spender that one firm of bookies flew him out on an all-expenses-paid horse racing jaunt to see the Dubai World Cup. Wife Rashael went too and he kept up his lies by telling her he won the trip in a competition. He was finally arrested after confessing to her – and she told his bosses. Girling, 36, pleaded guilty at Norwich Crown Court to theft from Premier Education Group and faces being jailed for up to five years. “I’m so ashamed and deserve punishment,” he told the Sunday People. “When I printed my bank statements and added up the total I’d stolen, I had to run to the toilet and be sick.” He claims the temptation to try web casinos started with a promotional offer of free spins. “After a first win you play on, trying to get that feeling back,” he said. “But you never can.”

Woman pleads guilty to embezzling from late father’s Racine law firm

A Racine woman indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly embezzling more than $775,000 from her late father’s Racine law firm has pleaded guilty. Kathleen A. Fetek, a real estate agent, in August pleaded not guilty to a charge of mail fraud, but on Nov. 1 she changed her plea to guilty. If convicted, Fetek faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, according to the Eastern District of Wisconsin’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. She would also face up to three years supervision after her release and be forced to pay victims of the crime restitution, totaling $788,277. During the period that Fetek worked at her father’s law firm, the plea agreement alleges she was “gambling frequently.” It also states that between January 2015 and December 2016 Fetek lost more than $212,000 at Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee. Fetek is prohibited from visiting any gambling establishments or participating in online gambling, according to her order for release.

Gambler Stole $1.95 Million from the Irish Post Office

A man who stole nearly $2 million from the postal service in Ireland has advice for the bookmakers and gamers. To keep a lid on problem gamblers, businesses need to follow their money and keep track of where it’s going. Tony O’Reilly was convicted of stealing millions of dollars from the post office. He believes if businesses watch their money, they can offer help to problem gamblers before the problems become extreme. It is estimated that in a given year, 70 percent of people in Ireland gamble in some form. Many people just buy lottery tickets or place an occasional bet on a soccer match. Researchers believe that of the people who gamble, about 1 percent are problem gamblers. Gambling addiction is seen as a mental illness in its most extreme form. Gamblers lose control of themselves and will do anything, including committing crimes to gamble.

Ex-NFL player released from prison files for bankruptcy

Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Reggie Rucker, who served a prison sentence for wire fraud and making false statements to the FBI, has filed for bankruptcy. Cleveland.com reports Rucker and his wife, Darlene, have filed their petition in bankruptcy court in Cleveland. The Warrensville Heights couple’s filing says they owe more than $860,000 to entities including the IRS and the attorney who represented Rucker when he was prosecuted for stealing from his nonprofit groups. Rucker was sentenced to prison in 2016 and ordered to pay $110,000 for using the charities’ money to pay gambling debts and personal expenses. The Ruckers’ petition says their combined monthly income is more than $6,300, but all but $10 of that goes toward their expenses.

Accused Killer Says He Was “Sorry” for Killing Business Partner in OC

A 41-year-old San Juan Capistrano executive’s voice cracked as he testified Wednesday that he killed his business partner in a fight, disposed of the body and then masqueraded as the victim in email exchanges with his family. Ed Younghoon Shin testified he grew irritated as his business partner 32-year-old Christopher Ryan Smith kept “badgering” him about paying a legal settlement with the money “coming out of (Shin’s) end.” Shin testified he was unaware of Smith’s concerns that Shin would embezzle from their company. The conflict between the two came to a head when Shin said he had the “effing truth” of Smith helping him in an embezzlement of Shin’s prior employer. “I said I have the effing truth… that I could prove he was part of the embezzlement,” Shin testified. Shin claims he wired $33,000 to Smith in October 2008. Shin claims the two got into a fistfight in Smith’s office that got out of hand and then disposed of the body. Shin racked up gambling debts in Las Vegas and was fending off allegations of taking $700,000 to $900,000 from his previous employer when he killed Smith in June 2010, Murphy said in his opening statement.

Engelfield Green con-artist jailed after defrauding friends and colleagues out of more than £1 million

A man has been jailed after conning his friends and colleagues out of more than £1 million by convincing them to invest in a fake ‘horse feed’ business. Branko Sevic, 47 of Blays Lane, Englefield Green, was sentenced to five years, seven months in prison at Guildford Crown Court on Wednesday (December 5). Sevic had left his home each morning telling his family that he was running a business. However bank statements show that he frequented coffee shops where he would access Wi-Fi and spend tens of thousands of pounds on online gambling sites and designer clothing instead. During their investigation police found that Sevic had admitted to two of his victims and also during a police interview that the business did not exist and that there was no money left.

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