A Brief Look at Crime 4/21 – 5/5

Charter school employee accused of charging $75K on school credit card at casino

A former business director at the Bradenton charter schoolTeam Success is pleading not guilty to charges that she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the school and its management firm, according to a notice filed with the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court. Melissa Tapia is accused of stealing $362,332 from the school and its management firm by writing fraudulent checks and using the school’s credit card for personal purchases, including $75,038 in charges at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. According to a probable cause affidavit with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Tapia allegedly wrote fraudulent checks and made it look as if her assistant had signed off on them by creating a stamp with her assistant’s name on it.

2 casinos fined for illegal college sports betting 

Two Atlantic City casinos have been fined for taking illegal bets on college football. NJ.com reports the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement fined the Golden Nugget Atlantic City and Caesars Entertainment Corp. Caesars received a $2,000 fine for bets placed on a Sept. 10 football game between Rutgers and Kansas. The Golden Nugget was fined $390 stemming from “various New Jersey college football games” the same month. State officials didn’t specify which Caesars property was involved. Caesars owns two Atlantic City casinos with sports betting. State law prohibits casinos from taking wagers on New Jersey colleges and any college sporting event that takes place in the state. Bettors who are involved are refunded if they can be identified. Both Caesars and the Golden Nugget declined comment Wednesday.

Phoenix Walmart manager accused of stealing over $100,000 in cash over ten months

A store manager has been arrested after reportedly stealing over $100,000 in cash from a North Phoenix Walmart. Phoenix police report that on February 28 they arrested Troy Fusilier, age 37, at the Walmart where he worked near Tatum Boulevard and Bell Road. Walmart discovered “large amounts of cash shortages over a period of months,” and began an audit. The audit reportedly showed that $106,251 was missing over ten months. Surveillance video reportedly shows Fusilier removing small stacks of $20 bills, estimated to be about $1,000 to $1,600, on multiple occasions. Upon his arrest, Fusilier allegedly told police that he estimated that he stole about $50,000. He reportedly said he did this because his income was “insufficient to support his family.” Police say Fusilier also admitted to a severe gambling problem, using a ‘significant amount of money’ to purchase lottery tickets. He has been charged with theft and fraud.

Battle Creek Woman Sentenced For Avoiding Taxes On Stolen Money

A Battle Creek woman will spend some time in prison for faking her taxes as she stole millions from her employer. MLive says that 52-year-old Tammy Burdette was the office manager at VHC, PC from 2009 to 2012, and investigators say that she wrote herself checks and then spent the money on gambling; all told, she stole $3 million. The charges in this case actually stemmed from the fact that she failed to report this stolen money as income on her tax returns; the IRS says that she “deprived the American taxpayer” of almost $570,000 in taxes.

As odd as it might sound, according to the IRS are required to report income gained through illegal activities: Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Schedule 1 (Form 1040),line 21, or on Schedule C (Form 1040) or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040)if from your self-employment activity. You also need to report property that you steal: If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless you return it to its rightful owner in the same year. Burdette was sentenced to 36 months in prison in US District Court in Grand Rapids; she was also ordered to pay restitution for those taxes she failed to pay. It’s unclear if she will also be charged with embezzlement for the $3 million authorities say she stole.

Inverness bookkeeper embezzled more than £200,000 from estates 

A senior bookkeeper’s gambling and drinking led him to embezzle over £221,000 from six Scottish sporting estates over a five-year period. Matthew Varley was working for CKD Galbraith’s Inverness office where he was responsible for keeping the books for the unnamed landowners. But Inverness Sheriff Court was told that between September 2010 and June 2015, he was transferring funds into his own account and falsifying the books to cover up his crimes. Yesterday, 44-year-old Varley, of Cranmore Drive, Smithton admitted a charge of embezzlement and sentence was deferred until April 9 for a background report. The court heard that when Varley was challenged by Galbraith, he stated that he was responsible for carrying out the transfers, attributing it to his gambling and drinking problems, as well as depression.

Man convicted in ASU money laundering scam, sentenced to three years in prison 

Two years after a Los Angeles man used an email scam to launder more than $1.9 million stolen from Appalachian State University, he pleaded guilty to money laundering in U.S. District Court in the Western District of N.C. Court documents indicate that in 2016, App State awarded a contract to Rodgers Builders to build a new health sciences building at the university. On or about Dec. 2, 2016, an employee at the university received an email from a person purporting to be an employee of Rodgers Builders, and requested the university employee to change the payment information to a different account. Lee was arrested in California in spring 2018 — he was 31 years old at the time. He was indicted on 14 counts with 13 of these dismissed in U.S. District Court after he entered his guilty plea in August 2018, according to court documents. Lee was sentenced on Feb. 19 to three years and one month in prison, required to pay $1,959,925.02 in restitution to App State and placed on supervised release for one year upon release from imprisonment. Court documents state that some of the conditions of Lee’s supervision include participating in a gambling addiction treatment program as well as being surrendered to immigration officials for deportation.

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