Daily Archives: December 5, 2019

A Brief Look at Crime 11/25 – 12/01

72-year-old arrested in connection to alleged gambling ring in north Houston

A 72-year-old Houston woman has been arrested and charged with money laundering in connection to an alleged large scale illegal gambling operation in north Houston, according to a release from Harris CountyConstable Precinct 4. Dorinda Powers, 72, was arrested at one of three suspected illegal game rooms police discovered during the investigation. Nearly 200 illegal gambling devices and $500,000 in suspected gambling proceeds were found at the three rooms, which were located in the 1140block of Veterans Memorial Drive, 11500 block of Jones Road and a residence in the 1180 block of Cathy Drive, according to the release.

Betfred Fined £322,000 for Letting Convicted Fraudster Who Stole £2 Million Gamble Online 

Online bookmaker Betfred has agreed to pay £322,000 ($400,000) to settle allegations that it allowed a convicted fraudster to deposit £210,000 ($261,000) in stolen money on its online platform. The customer subsequently lost £140,000 ($216,000) to Betfred during a 12-day gambling binge. An investigation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) found that Betfred had breached anti-money laundering (AML) rules by failing to adequately check the source of the fraudster’s funds. “The management of this customer in relation to AML raised significant concerns regarding the effectiveness of the policies and procedures that [Betfred] had in place, and its management of risks to the licensing objectives,” wrote the UKGC. 

Last month, Joyce Baker, a former financial manager at Light Corporationin Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, was handed a prison sentence of five years and ten months for fraud by abuse of position after embezzling£2,011,983 from her ex-employer. According to media reports, Baker is a gambling addict who began siphoning money from the company within six weeks of starting work therein 2012, and continued until she left in June 2018, seven months after the Betfred incident. Baker’s crimes left Light Corporation in financial disarray, directly leading to the layoff of around 30 of her colleagues.

Crooked CFO Embezzled $3.8 Million 

Hard-partying executive Bryan Vonderahe will have to turn over hispricey SUVs and Kirkwood McMansion after admitting he embezzled $3.8million from the waterbed, mattress and real estate company where he worked for more than a decade. The 45-year-old pleaded guilty today in federal court to three felony counts of wire fraud. As part of the plea, he’ll have to forfeit a GMCAcadia Denalia, a Range Rover Sport and his house at 1943 Windy HillRoad, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also faces a maximum prison sentence of twenty years for each felony and will have to repay the stolen money. Vonderahe made about $90,000 as the chief financial officer for the BoydGroup, the parent company for Royal Waterbeds, the Bedroom Store and other brands. But investigators discovered Vonderahe had been illegally supplementing his income for years by writing himself roughly 500 checks from his employer’s accounts. He used some of the money to vacation in Florida, ski in Breckenridge,Colorado, and gamble in Las Vegas. Around the metro, he spent big at theCasino Queen on the east side and drove drunkenly enough to rack up four convictions for driving under the influence.

Police probe for motive in killings at illegal gambling spot in Brooklyn

The four people killed when gunfire erupted at an illegal gambling club in Brooklyn were all local men, police said Sunday as they continue to investigate the circumstances of their deaths. Police said just over a dozen people had been gambling with dice and cards at the small club when the violence erupted just before 7 a.m.Saturday. Investigators were determining if a gambling dispute, a robbery, or something else was to blame. Two handguns were recovered, and multiple shots were fired. Isaac Mickens, a community organizer, described it to the Times as a “hole-in-the-wall gambling den” that was “real tight, real small, casual, low-key.” Samuel Revells told the Times that he was the building owner and had leased the event space out but didn’t say to whom.

Former UGA Student Admits Operating Ponzi Scheme From Campus

A former University of Georgia student pleaded guilty Friday to operating a $1 million Ponzi scheme from his fraternity house on campus, federal prosecutors said. Syed Arham Arbab, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and is set to be sentenced in January, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release. Arbab admitted that he persuaded about 117 investors, including fellow students, to invest in Artis Proficio Capital Management and Artis Proficio Capital Investments between May 2018 and May 2019, prosecutors said. He told investors they were hedge funds. Arbab acknowledged misrepresenting the funds’ returns, the number of investors, total funds invested and the types of investments being made, prosecutors said. He also admitted making false account statements. Arbab spent investor funds on clothing, shoes, restaurant meals, alcohol, adult entertainment and travel, including three trips to Las Vegas where he spent thousands of dollars while gambling, prosecutors said.

Pair faces prison in million dollar sports book scheme

Two people admitted to felonies on Monday in connection with a $1 million sports book betting scheme. Dean admitted to conspiracy to commit embezzlement and embezzlement. She was a manager at the William Hill Sports Book at the Mont Bleu and Hard Rock casinos where she collected winnings on bets that weren’t made. She faces up to 1-5 years on the felony and 364 days in jail on the conspiracy charge. The theft was discovered by sports book operators in November after Dean generated a $60,000 bet while no one was at her station. Carson City resident Dean told a Gaming Control Board

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