A Brief Look at Crime 06/17 – 06/23

Macau Gambler Murdered over Unpaid Gambling Debts by Loan Sharks

A gambler has been found beaten to death in a Macau guesthouse, allegedly over unpaid casino debts, reports the Macau Times. The unnamed victim, aged 40, had been held captive at the boarding house by three loan sharks, who had loaned him HKD50,000 ($6,373; £4,863). When the man lost all the cash at one of Macau’s casinos, the trio gagged him and beat him to death with fists, shoes, and belts over the course of two days. According to the police, one of the loan sharks confessed to the homicide, which happened on Saturday, May 4. The police then moved in to arrest the other two loan sharks in the Outer Harbor district. The three suspects are aged between 29 and 34 and come from mainland China.

Casino panel hopes record $35M Wynn fine serves as deterrent (MA)

The record $35.5 million in fines Massachusetts imposed on Wynn Resorts and its CEO reflect the many violations uncovered but are also meant to serve as a deterrent as the nascent state casino industry takes shape, Massachusetts regulators said Wednesday. The state’s Gaming Commission on Tuesday levied a $35 million fine on Wynn Resorts and another $500,000 on new CEO Matthew Maddox for failing to disclose years of allegations of sexual misconduct against company founder Steve Wynn. But the five-member panel allowed the company to retain its state casino license and open its $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor resort as planned in June. “We do feel like that fine reflects the scope and multitude of the violations,” Commission Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said as the panel met in Boston the morning after delivering its long-awaited decision. “We were very mindful that it should serve as punishment to really address the violations. We also thought it was necessary to provide a message of deterrence to ensure future compliance.” The commission was focused on how long company officials were aware of the allegations and how they responded, rather than the truth behind the claims. Steve Wynn, who resigned as CEO last year, has denied the allegations.

5 plead guilty in mob-run gambling and loansharking ring that kicked up millions to Genovese Crime Family 

Five New Jersey men pleaded guilty pleaded Wednesday for their roles in various financial schemes that kicked money up to the Genovese Crime Family, included loansharking and illegal sports gambling operations that raked in millions of dollars. The men wereindicted in a 2014 joint operation by multiple law enforcement agencies dubbed “Operation Fistful,” according to a release from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. “When those involved in traditional organized crime engage in schemes such as loansharking and illegal gambling, they profit at the expense of victims who are struggling with debt, gambling problems, and other issues,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said. “By prosecuting the men who ran these schemes and putting key defendants behind bars, we send a message that we will not tolerate these corrosive criminal activities that harm individuals, families and society as a whole.”

Gambling addict embezzled $535K and evaded $139K in taxes

An admitted gambling addict who embezzled $535,000 from her Middletown-area employers avoided a federal prison term Thursday on $139,000 worth of tax evasion charges for failing to report the income from her thefts to the IRS. Instead, U.S. Middle District Senior Judge Sylvia H. Rambo sentenced the visibly nervous Diane Fabian to 5 years of probation, banned her from gambling ever again, and required her to repay the feds at a rate of at least $25 a month. Fabian cited the ravages of her gambling addiction when she came before Cherry for sentencing. She did the same as she pleaded with Rambo for mercy. “When my addiction to gambling was going on, I never knew I had to pay taxes on the money I embezzled,” Fabian told Rambo in a trembling voice. The IRS requires taxpayers to report all their income, regardless of whether it was obtained legally. “All the money I stole went to the casino,” Fabian said. “I always thought I would win big and pay the money back…I would sit and play the slot machines until every cent was gone.” Defense attorney Corky Goldstein called a therapist, James Snyder, who testified he has treated Fabian for her gambling addiction. Snyder said Fabian’s addiction is in remission, although as with any type of addiction she faces a lifetime battle to keep it under control. “Gambling is very similar to the use of crack cocaine,” Snyder said.

Former attorney sentenced to prison for embezzling $1.3M

A former attorney has been sentenced to eight years in prison for embezzling $1.3 million from his clients. Attorney General Peter Neronha says 58-year-old Vincent Mitchell, of Coventry, Rhode Island, pleaded no contest Thursday to one count of embezzlement over $100. He was ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution. His attorney, Robert Mann, said Friday Mitchell is very remorseful, and acknowledges that many people were hurt. Mitchell voluntarily told the Rhode Island Supreme Court disciplinary counsel’s office last year that he had taken money from his clients for unauthorized personal use, which is unusual for someone who isn’t under investigation. Neronha says Mitchell used money from 11 of his older clients to cover losses from his bank accounts, stemming from substance abuse and gambling, from 2014 to 2017.

2 more Volusia internet gambling spots shut down, 184 devices seized (FL)

Volusia County sheriff’s detectives raided the rooms Wednesday and seized 184 computer devices and several thousand dollars in cash, according to a statement made public Thursday morning. Ninety gambling machines and $11,599 in cash were seized at the South Daytona location by the Sheriff’s Office-led East Volusia Narcotics Task Force with the assistance of the South Daytona Police Department, according to the statement by Andrew Gant, sheriff’s spokesman. James R. Heckaman is listed as the registered agent and manager for PrintCo, records show. Ninety-four machines and $16,366 in cash were seized at the Deltona location by members of VCSO’s West Volusia Narcotics Task Force, Deltona Narcotics Enforcement Team and Crime Suppression Team, the release said.

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