A Brief Look at Crime 4/08 – 4/14

Search warrant served at game room, scene of deadly 2018 officer involved shooting

On January 31, a confidential associate of the Lubbock Police department went into Fish Room with money to gamble and left receiving a cash payout. On February 5, the associate returned and received another cash payout totaling $150. Under Texas Penal Code Chapter 47, Operating a public “gambling place,” is illegal in the state and punishable as a class A misdemeanor. Several possible pieces of evidence were obtained in the search warrant, including DVR machines, money counters, 100 electronic gambling devices and more than $5,500 in cash. Police were cautious approaching this operation because of a history of violence when responding to game rooms, specifically at this location. On August 13, 2018, an armed robbery took place at this establishment, formerly the Coyote Moon game room, in the 3900 block of Avenue A in which an officer was injured, and one suspect was shot. 20-year-old Isaac Jackson and 20-year-old Jelani Ashley attempted to rob the Coyote Moon game room when police responded. Jackson was shot by officers. Ashley ran from the scene but was apprehended by the Texas Anti-Gang Center at his home days later.

Ex-sheriff admits taking bribes; could get 15-year sentence 

An Ohio sheriff who resigned amid an FBI investigation has pleaded guilty to taking bribes from people arrested in prostitution and gambling stings. Authorities say former Allen County sheriff Sam Crish also took $50,000 from someone who was later hired to work at the county jail. Crish pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to extortion and bribery. He faces up to 15 years in prison. A message seeking comment was left with his attorney. Authorities say Crish extorted almost $100,000 from five people between 2012 and 2016. Investigators say he helped others avoid charges in return for the money. Crish resigned as sheriff in 2017 following an FBI raid. The Lima News reports Crish once sought treatment for compulsive gambling and that he has faced lawsuits over gambling debts.

Mum gambled away £100,000 from dying son’s cancer fund

The mother of a little boy who died from cancer is facing jail after defrauding £100,000 from a fund set up to pay for his treatment. Stacey Worsley, 32, abused her position as a trustee for six-year-old Tony Nye’s fund-raising campaign and spent the money on online gambling, a court heard. The fund raised £200,000 and was supported by friends and players from Leeds United football club who the youngster supported. Toby had been diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma on his fourth birthday in January 2017 and an appeal was started to raise money for his expensive treatment which was not available on the NHS. Early testing after treatment showed his bone marrow was clear of cancer in July 2018, the court heard. Tragically he was then diagnosed with a brain tumour in October last year and died on 12 January 2019. Toby walked out as a mascot for his beloved football team during a charity football match, met the players from Leeds United and regularly spent time with club captain, Liam Cooper while he battled the disease. Worsley’s offences happened between 2 January 2017 and 20 March 2018, Leeds Crown Court heard. She admitted defrauding the fund in court yesterday.

California man’s luck runs out as he must fork over $90K for gambling online using N.J. betting sites

New Jersey gambling regulators have ordered a California man to hand over more than $90,000 from online accounts he had funded and gambled with from outside the state in what appears to be the largest such case in the more than five years internet betting has been legal in New Jersey. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement said this week that Vinh Dao, whose hometown was not made public, violated New Jersey law requiring that internet betting be done only by those physically within the state’s borders. Due to his cooperation and to negotiate an end to the case, which began more than five years ago, the state agreed to let Dao keep $2,500 of the nearly $93,000 that was in his online accounts with sites affiliated with the Borgata and Caesars Interactive-NJ. The case dates to February 2014, just three months after internet gambling began in New Jersey, a time when geolocation technology was still developing and being adjusted in the state. The casino companies that allowed Dao to gamble online from outside New Jersey could be subject to fines. The Borgata declined comment; Caesars Interactive said it would look into the details of the case, but did not address potential penalties, and regulators did not respond to questions about the case Wednesday. The forfeited money will be split between a fund for senior citizens and the disabled, and programs to prevent or treat compulsive gambling.

Ex-Detroit union leader gets prison for stealing $300,000

A labor leader who liked to gamble at a Detroit casino has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for embezzling $300,000 from his union. Authorities say Mervin Hawk actually stole $630,000 from AFSCME Local 1640, but he returned a portion before the scheme was discovered. The 59-year-old Hawk appeared in federal court Thursday, apologizing and acknowledging that he “let a lot of folks down.” Both sides acknowledge he had a gambling problem. Hawk was president of Local 1640 from 2013 through 2015. AFSCME stands for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Hawk’s attorney asked for home detention. Natasha Webster doubts the federal prison system can handle Hawk’s diabetes-related health problems. But Judge Gershwin Drain says the Bureau of Prisons is capable.

$1M seized from Phoenix pool halls suspected of gambling 

Authorities say they have seized nearly $1 million in cash from two Phoenix billiard halls suspected of illegal gambling activity. The Arizona Department of Gaming said Friday the seizure was the result of search warrants executed by a multi-agency task force. State gaming agents entered Lan Anh Billiards and Thanh Long Billiards on Thursday and took seven Dragon games, which are illegal gambling devices, and other assets. The suspects could face felony charges, including the conducting of a criminal enterprise.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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