Daily Archives: November 5, 2019

A Brief Look at Crime 10/28 – 11/03

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.

Piscataway woman denied PTI for stealing $300K from Edison employer

A state appellate court has upheld the decision to deny a Piscataway woman entry to a pre-trial intervention (PTI) program for srtaling more than $300,000 from her employer. After Brenda Sypeck, 60, was denied entry to the program which, if completed successfully, would have seen the charge against her dismissed, she pleaded guilty to second-degree theft in Middlesex County Superior Court. She was sentenced on Dec. 15, 2017 to six years in prison. n June 2016, the president of Gerrus Maintenance, where Sypeck was a bookkeeper, reported to police that over three years from January 2013 to June 2016, she cashed 140 company checks she had issued to herself without authorization. A forensic accountant found the loss to be $293,200. When the company executive confronted her, court records say, she admitted to taking the money because of a gambling problem. Sypeck, who had been employed at the company for 11 years, was immediately terminated and left the premises before police arrived. The company president later told authorities that he had to spend his retirement funds to pay for employee salaries and bills. Following her arrest, Sypeck was diagnosed as a gambling addict, court papers say, and she began attending Gambler’s Anonymous meetings.

Former Colorado Casino Worker Forced Out of Job for Reporting Sex Attack by Customer

A wrongful dismissal lawsuit filed against the Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek, Colorado, by a former female employee alleges casino management “retaliated” against her for reporting a customer for sexual assault. The suit accuses Wildwood owner Great American Gaming of failing to protect its employees from sexual harassment by customers, and of turning against the plaintiff after she reported the behavior of a customer who had grabbed her crotch and assaulted other staff members. Casino regular Lawrence Earnhart pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge in March 2018 in relation to the incident, which had occurred in May of the previous year.

But the lawsuit alleges Earnhart, who was known to staff as “Scary Larry,” had waged a “campaign of unwanted advances and inappropriate touching for months” before his assault on the plaintiff. The customer had allegedly harassed another employee that night and pushed his face into her cleavage. According to court documents, Earnhart’s behavior was reported to the casino’s top brass by staff members and even some managers. No action was taken until the plaintiff called the police, after which Earnhart was finally barred from the casino. But subsequently, the victim claims she was “singled out, isolated, unnecessarily scrutinized, blamed for systematic problems by the casino, and set up for failure, so that she would be forced out of her employment,” according to the lawsuit. The victim is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, citing a hostile work environment, as well as retaliation and wrongful termination.

Gravette woman must repay $350,000 taken from employer

A Gravette woman didn’t receive any prison time but has to repay $350,000 she stole from her employer. Hunter Burroughs told Rogers police in November 2018 that Thao-Her was responsible for handling payroll at several businesses he owns, according to court documents. The businesses include Elite Allergy Services, Preferred Billing Partners, The Onyx Cave and Burroughs and Partners, according to the affidavit. Thao-Her said she stole $277,000. Burroughs estimated $364,382 was missing from the accounts, according to the affidavit. Burroughs said Thao-Her agreed to sign a termination letter and repayment plan for $350,000, according to the court affidavit. Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green placed Thao-Her on state supervised probation for 20 years and ordered her to repay $350,000. She was also ordered to be evaluated for gambling issues and comply with any of the recommendations.

Former treasurer of Kansas town sentenced to federal prison

The former treasurer of a small Kansas town has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for stealing money from the town and spending taxpayer money at a casino. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Wichita says 56-year-old Deborah Sell of Fontana was sentenced Monday. She had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return. Sell admitted embezzling more than $174,000 from Fontana, a town of about 220 people in eastern Kansas. Federal prosecutors say Sell issued city checks to pay personal expenses, withdrew cash using a city debit card for personal expenses, and deposited cash payments from customers into her personal account. Restitution is mandatory. Fontana is about 40 miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri.

Woman accused of embezzling funds from Medford electrical company

A local woman has been arrested after allegedly embezzling more than $250,000 from her employer, according to the Medford Police Department (MPD). In April of 2018, MPD says that Precision Electric Contractors hired 49-year-old Traci Marang. “Almost immediately Marang began embezzling money from the company,” the agency said. “Marang changed payment records, changed business records, and deleted records to cover this up.” MPD received a report of the embezzlement claims in February of 2019, almost a year later. The agency said that it warned Precision Electric of the report, suggesting that they get an independent audit. When Precision Electric did perform an audit, it found that Marang had embezzled $264,254.29, according to MPD. “An additional $37,000- was missing related to gambling establishments outside this jurisdiction,” the agency continued.

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