A Brief Look at Crime 03/11 – 03/17

Mohegan Sun Restaurant Manager Allegedly Embezzled $103K To Support Gambling Habit 

An ex-assistant manager showed up in court this week to face a charge for allegedly embezzling over $100,000 from a restaurant in Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino. The attorney representing Adam G. Johnson, 43, of Griswold, Connecticut, entered a not guilty plea for his client on Monday on a single count of first-degree larceny. The charges stemmed from Johnson’s alleged theft of $103,568 over three years from the Ballo Italian restaurant at Mohegan Sun where he worked. The Day newspaper revealed that Johnson gambled before he came to work and after he finished his shift, according to fellow restaurant employees. According to investigators, Johnson voided charges on customers’ restaurant tabs that had been paid in cash or entered invalid promotional codes through a computer “point of sale” system. Johnson admitted that he often voided items off checks, particularly on weekends, and would pocket anywhere from $150 to $800. It started in 2015, when he allegedly altered 49 checks and voided 91 items. That year, he stole $2,134. From there, his patterns escalated, moving from $5,119 in alleged stolen monies in 2016 up to $63,370 in 2018 until he was caught. In total, over the four years, Johnson allegedly changed 1,304 checks and voided 4,603 items.

Atlanta attorney gets 15 years for stealing $26 million from his firm

An Atlanta attorney convicted of stealing $26 million from his law firm has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported 53-year-old Nathan Hardwick IV was also ordered to forfeit nearly $20 million. The U.S. Justice Department also said in a news release that Hardwick must pay restitution and serve six years of supervised release after his prison sentence. Hardwick was a partner with the real estate law firm Morris Hardwick Schneider. Hardwick was convicted in October of wire fraud, conspiracy and making false statements to a federally insured financial institution. Federal prosecutors say Hardwick used much of the money to fund his gambling habits and to support a lavish lifestyle. Hardwick had millions wired from the law firm’s accounts over three years ending in August 2014.

Man found dead in trunk of car in northwest Miami-Dade, police say

Police found a man dead Tuesday inside the trunk of a car in theWest Little River of northwest Miami-Dade County. Angel Rodriguez, a spokesman for theMiami-Dade County Department, said the body was found around 2 p.m. in the 9100 block of Northwest 22nd Avenue. Officers responded to the scene after witnesses reported a foul order and flies coming from the vehicle, police said. Authorities identified the body Thursday morning as that of Richard Lindsay, 43, who owned the vehicle. His brother, Jason Lindsay, told police that he had not seen Richard Lindsay for several days, but he did not report his brother missing, police said. Jason Lindsay said his brother — a father of four girls — was a peaceful man, but he struggled with a gambling addiction. “It’s just a bad habit that he had that pretty much cost him his life,” Jason Lindsay said.

Vancouver man accused of stealing $65,000 in effort to pay off $200,000 in gambling debts

A Vancouver man is accused of stealing about $65,000 from multiple local construction companies and people in the industry to help pay off more than $200,000 in gambling debts. On Dec. 13, 2018, Scott Aldinger, owner of Precision Construction Services Inc., contacted the Vancouver Police Department to report that Saban, an employee and project manager, had been stealing from the company and many other people in Clark County’s construction industry, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Saban placed an order Nov. 15, 2018, for more than $3,500 worth of building supplies at Parr Lumber in Ridgefield on Precision Construction Services’ account. However, the supplies charged were for a job being run by another company. The supplies were delivered to Richard and Kelli Nye’s residence for their project, but the Parr Lumber invoice was never paid, so the company took a loss, the affidavit states. Last month, detectives received information that Saban is an avid gambler. They contacted the Washington State Gambling Commission and learned that over the past three years, Saban had taken more than a $160,000 loss from The Last Frontier Casino and The Palace Casino in La Center. He also had taken a more than $50,000 loss at the Lucky 21 Casino in Woodland, according to court documents. A search warrant served on Saban’s bank account found large withdrawals at the casinos, as well as checks deposited from the people he borrowed money from, including $41,000 worth of checks from the Nyes, court records show.

CPA laundered $1.3M for gambling habit

Federal prosecutors on Friday revealed a Rice Twp. accountant who laundered more than $1 million from a nonprofit was stealing the money to pay down his gambling debts. Adam Kamor, 43, was caught after the Internal Revenue Service received reports showing he had lost more than $700,000 while gambling at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo-Garrison said in court. “The IRS flagged that because the reported loss far exceeded his income,” he said. During the hearing Friday, Kamor pleaded guilty to felony counts of money laundering and income tax evasion. He will be sentenced May 30. Kamor, a certified public accountant, owned and operated Decker Accounting LLC, a defunct firm at 444 Hazle St. in Wilkes-Barre. The charges alleged that he laundered about $1.35 million from an undisclosed nonprofit corporation in Wilkes-Barre and then failed to report more than $800,000 in income on his personal tax returns. In court Friday, Caraballo-Garrison said Kamor was involved in a “sophisticated money laundering” scheme, diverting the stolen money into accounts that he controlled but that the corporation was not aware existed. Kamor withdrew the money at ATMs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and also used it to pay off a line of credit he accrued by taking cash advances at the casino, he said.

Woman gets probation, must repay nearly $300,000 embezzled from St. Charles landscaping company

A woman who embezzled nearly $300,000 from a St. Charles landscaping company was sentenced Thursday to five years of probation and ordered to repay the money. Arlene Wood, 54, was the company’s office manager and in charge of the company payroll and accounts payable. From January 2011 to Nov. 3, 2017, Wood inflated her salary on paychecks or issued herself duplicate pay 190 times and submitted false information redeeming unused vacation time, bonuses and expense reimbursement 141 times, her plea agreement says. Wood pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge in November. Now she must repay $296,759. Some of that will be repaid with money from her 401k account, court records show. Wood’s lawyer, James Looby Miller, asked for a departure from the recommended prison sentence of more than two years, citing Wood’s health problems, the abuse she suffered as a child and her gambling addiction. Her “gambling addiction was consuming her life, running her bank account dry and causing her to steal from her employer to fulfill her addiction,” he wrote in a court filing. He also said that if sentenced to prison, Wood may not survive to repay any money after her release.

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