Daily Archives: April 15, 2019

A Brief Look at Crime 3/25 – 3/31

New York man gets 56 months in jail for running $62 million real estate Ponzi scheme

A New York man will spend more than the next four years in jail after admitting to running a real estate Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of approximately $62 million by promising “risk-free” investments in commercial real estate. Court documents showed that between December 2009 and March 2013, Barkany convinced more than 10 victims to invest approximately $62 million by committing to use the money in “risk-free” deals to purchase, and then immediately sell at a profit, commercial real estate located in New York City and New Jersey. But much to the investors’ dismay, the deals in question did not actually exist, leaving the investors with total losses on their investments. As for what Barkany did with the money, some of the money went to pay back his earlier investors, a hallmark of a Ponzi scheme. Additionally, Barkany used approximately $7.8 million of his investors’ money for “personal expenses and gambling,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Edwina Close Woman Defrauded Bosses of £400,000 

Southampton Crown Court heard today how the management accountant – who also used the surname Griffin – used nine different bank accounts in her own name to stash stolen cash – and hid transactions from her employers over a period of seven years. But when her employers, Southampton based builders’ merchants Elliots started an investigation in 2016 into the missing cash, she refused to comment. Weir, who had worked for the company since 2009, instead blamed others for the lost funds. “She was employed by them for seven years but she exploited the company’s trust in her by systematically draining company funds to feed her gambling habit. “The amounts involved were staggering and this was happening over a very long period of time. “Both these factors demonstrate the severity of Weir’s gambling addiction. The fact that she has nothing to show for it at the end of the day tells its own story. “But it wasn’t her money she was gambling with. Her actions were to the detriment of the company which placed its trust in her and to everyone
who worked with her.

Federal case opens a window to the underground world of sports betting

Stephen Mardigan’s life as the leader of a high-stakes sports betting operation in Portland began by accident. The used car dealer had collected bets from friends and planned to pass them on to his bookmaker. But Mardigan didn’t get them in on time, so he ended up holding the risk. His friends all lost, and Mardigan got to keep the winnings. He went from bettor to bookie, and so began an underground career that would decades later lead to a federal conviction and a 15-month prison sentence. The case opened a window into the world of sports betting just as the state Legislature will consider bills this year to legalize, regulate and tax the practice in some form. Mardigan, 62, pleaded guilty in May to unlawful gambling, money laundering and filing a false tax return. He also agreed to forfeit nearly $700,000 and 19 properties valued at $13 million, in addition to paying more than $3 million in back taxes and penalties. He was taken into custody Tuesday evening, just hours after his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Portland. “I now realize that I was out of control,” he wrote. “See, gamblers get a high that’s stimulating but tranquilizing at the same time. I lived for that. It was a gambling roller coaster. During the day I had business dealings, at night I had my gambling.”

Resigned collector requests low sentence after gambling related conviction

Former Callaway County Collector Pamela Oestreich told the court Friday her gambling addiction led to her confessed theft of about $300,000. She’s requested a shorter prison sentence of 60 days, rather than the longer term of incarceration requested by prosecutors, according to a sentencing memorandum filed Friday with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. “Because of her gambling addiction Oestreich did not personally and financially benefit from her theft to any great extent,” stated her lawyer, Daniel Hunt, in the sentencing memorandum. “The present offense has only served to damage her otherwise excellent reputation without any real benefit to her.” Timothy Garrison, U.S. Attorney for the Western District court, recommended a sentence of 37 months of imprisonment and three years’ supervised release in a sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday. “In an age of increasing public skepticism of the integrity of government institutions and public officials, Oestreich’s crime has an exceptionally troubling impact on the public trust of fundamental government operations,” Garrison stated. “The sentence imposed by this court must protect the public from faithless public officers, deter other public officials from similar conduct, promote respect for the law, including those who enforce it, and impose a just punishment.”

Huntington Man Sentenced for Embezzling Veteran’s Benefits

A Huntington man was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for embezzling over $80,000 of his brother’s Veteran’s benefits, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. In addition to the 6 months imprisonment, Washington will spend 6 months on home confinement following his release. He was also ordered to make restitution. The case was investigated by the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Despicable,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “It’s unimaginable to think that anyone, much less a patriot’s brother, would steal a veteran’s hard earned benefits. If you can’t trust your brother, who can you trust?” David Washington, 55, was appointed his brother’s fiduciary to receive and manage benefits from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Washington failed to submit accounting reports, which led investigators to question his management. Washington later admitted to mismanagement, including spending his brother’s benefits for his own personal expenses, most of which involved gambling debts.

Ladbrokes gagged gambling addict who stole £1.8m

Britain’s biggest betting company used a non-disclosure agreement to stop a gambling addict, and the victims whose money he stole, from reporting how Ladbrokes allegedly encouraged his illegal betting, /The Times/ can reveal. Conservative and Labour MPs have called for a government review into the use of NDAs after /The Times/ uncovered the use of a gagging order by Ladbrokes which prevented the Gambling Commission being told how it allegedly helped a customer illegally gamble for three years from Dubai, where betting is outlawed. The gambler said a Ladbrokes VIP manager told him how to use a virtual private network (VPN) to bypass the UAE’s internet restrictions on gambling. He was even offered a free iPad with a VPN already set up on it.

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