A Brief Look at Crime 10/21 – 10/27

Suspects in Casino Killing Could Be Eligible For Death Penalty 

The two female defendants charged in the robbery and killing of an 84-year-old Long Beach woman at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted, officials said Sunday. One of the suspects, 35-year-old Kimesha Monae Williams, is believed to be the sister of Los Angeles Clippers star forward Kawhi Leonard. Williams’ aunt told the Riverside Press-Enterprise on Saturday that Williams and Leonard are siblings. John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, would not confirm the relationship, but told City News Service that Williams and 39-year-old Candace Tai Townsel were charged with murder with a special circumstance that makes them eligible for the death penalty. According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Williams and Townsel followed Afaf Anis Assad of Long Beach into a bathroom at the casino on Aug. 31, where the duo attacked her and stole her purse, which contained $800 to $1,200. Assad was found unconscious on the bathroom floor and later died of her injuries at Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar.

Woman gets 33 months for bank fraud

A former Huntington accountant has been sentenced to serve less than three years in federal prison after being accused of embezzling over $1 million from a client’s account. Kimberly Dawn Price, also known as Kimberly Swan, 59, was sentenced to serve 33 months for bank fraud committed during her time as a staff accountant at the Huntington-based firm Hess, Stewart and Campbell PLLC. “It’s simple. Price was a thief who stole from an employer that implicitly trusted her,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Monday following sentencing. “And now she’s being held accountable.” A letter written to the court seeking leniency in her sentencing, filed by Price’s attorney Wesley Page, said the money was taken due to her gambling addiction. After losing her job, she worked at a gas station for about a year, but has since not worked and now receives Social Security spousal benefits after the death of her husband. Page said she gambled away “or otherwise lost” her savings and lives in subsidized housing in Huntington.

Berkhamsted Light Corporation manager jailed for £2m fraud 

A financial manager has been jailed for stealing £2.1m from the firm she worked for to fund a gambling addiction, a court has heard. Joyce Baker admitted fraud by abuse of position at Light Corporation, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, after using the cash to gamble online. She also pleaded guilty to contempt of court for not saying where the assets were. She was jailed for 5 years and 10 months. St Albans Crown Court heard Baker, 61, of Briery Way, Hemel Hempstead, stole money within six weeks of starting work at the company in 2012, and continued until she left in June 2018. Judge Stephen Warner said the “planned dishonesty” was committed “over many years in breach of a high degree of trust”. He added it was to “feed the scourge of a gambling addiction” and could not justify it. Prosecutor Walton Hornsby said she siphoned money into her accounts by authorising payments to an unknown supplier. The court also heard Baker cashed in a £26,000 pension plan by putting it into a concealed bank account.Only 50p was left after she transferred some to a sister and spent the rest on gambling, a holiday and household expenses.

Former Cape Coral real estate broker sentenced for fraud scheme

A Cape Coral real estate broker found guilty in June as part of a scheme to defraud an investor of more than a half million dollars has been sentenced to more than 5 years in prison. In 2015, he made false statements to the victim and convinced her to invest $300,000 in a real estate venture. Specifically, Eyerman indicated they would “flip” houses; that is, buy, rehab and re-sell properties. Instead of using the money for that purpose, Eyerman gambled away a large portion of the money at casinos and, over a matter of seven weeks, spent the remainder on personal luxury goods, including a custom Porsche 911, a $12,700 Rolex watch and a $50,000 down payment on his personal luxury waterfront residence in Cape Coral. Without telling the victim that he had already spent all of her initial investment, Eyerman went back to her in August 2015, seeking more money. This time, Eyerman lied about a second business opportunity – a purported new home construction company. Eyerman convinced the victim to provide him with another $261,000, which he immediately spent for personal use, including gambling most of it away at the Seminole Indian

Kentucky Law Enforcement Officers Exposed for Running Cruel, Illegal Cockfighting Operation

Investigators uncovered shocking evidence of an illegal cockfighting ring involving two Kentucky law enforcement officers. In pictures posted on Facebook, Ronnie Bennet and Kyle Simpson pose with roosters in arm and trophies from their “wins.” The roosters’ legs are wrapped with tape, likely where small knives are attached to inflict severe injuries on the opposing bird. In this abusive blood sport, two roosters are forced to fight to the death for human entertainment and profit. Roosters raised for cockfighting are bred, brutally trained, and sometimes medicated to be unnaturally aggressive. Before a fight, the breeder may mutilate the rooster by cutting off the bird’s wattle, comb, and ear lobes. The fight usually ends tragically, with at least one rooster dying from his injuries Cockfight breeders profit off of their animal’s “win”  and the other animal’s death — through associated gambling. SHARK and IDA sent the evidence implicating the two employees of Harlan County Detention Center and at least three other people to the FBI.

CBS Credit Union Manager Gets 14 Years for $40M Embezzlement 

Edward Rostohar admitted that he used the money to fund a gambling habit, buy luxury cars and watches and travel by private jet. The former manager of a credit union that served employees of the CBS television network has been sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for a two-decade embezzlement scheme that drained $40 million from the institution and forced it into insolvency. Edward Rostohar pleaded guilty to bank fraud in May. The 62-year-old admitted he used the money to fund a gambling habit, buy luxury cars and watches and travel by private jet. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said Monday that Rostohar paid his wife a $5,000 weekly allowance and took trips with “women half his age.” The charges were announced in March, on the same day that the CBS Employees Federal Credit Union ceased operations. Its assets were assumed by University Credit Union in Los Angeles.

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


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