A Brief Look at Crime 12/23 – 12/29

78-Year-Old Man Shot, Killed At West Philadelphia Illegal Lottery Hall During Robbery

A 78-year-old man was shot and killed Thursday afternoon during a robbery at what police are calling an illegal lottery hall. The crime scene unit is trying to piece together what happened in West Philadelphia on Wednesday. Police haven’t identified the man yet, and therefore neither is Eyewitness News, but his nephew says he was a peacemaker. “Who would hurt him? Who would do that?” the victim’s nephew, AlfonzoConnor, said. Police say the building where the man was killed was an illegal gamblinghall. They say they’ve raided the place recently. The victim’s nephew says his uncle wasn’t a gambler. “I tell you what, if they did that they ain’t come to rob him. He ain’t have no money for nothing like that,” Connor said. Police responded just after noon. They say the man was found on the first floor of the building. It’s not clear if he was gambling. His nephew says whatever happened, he doesn’t believe his uncle was the intended target. “Wrong place at the wrong time probably. You know you can walk into somewhere and something is happening, you might try to intervene probably to try to stop it. That was his nature too, to keep the peace,” Connor said.

UK’s gambling firms spent a whooping £19.6m in penalties for failure to protect problem gamblers

The United Kingdom has been the largest betting market in the region for some time now. Unfortunately, this has come with a few consequences, including an increasing problem gamblers population. Unfortunately, gambling firms are dragging their feet on the matter resulting in a campaign from the gambling commission. The institution claimed it handled more than 160 investigations during the 2018 financial year. It imposed a number of sanctions on operators, including financial penalties. Betting companies will have to pay 19.6 million pounds in penalties for failing to protect the problem gamblers and stopping laundering operations. Major contributors to this penalty include Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill Sky-bet, and Bet 365. Online casino firms like Daub Alderney and Fluffer entertainment also did not escape the net. The regulator’s second report on enforcement claimed companies are failing to detect clients at risk of becoming problem gamblers.

Trip to Casino Ended in Murder Caught on Camera: Miami-Dade Police 

man was caught on camera murdering another man after the two spent time at a South Florida casino, police said. Luciano Thompson, 22, was arrested Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the killing of 24-year-old Eduardo Gonzalez, according to a Miami-Dade Police arrest report. The report said Thompson and Gonzalez had gone together to the Hialeah Park Casino early Wednesday morning and were seen in video footage leaving around 1:44 a.m. Minutes later, surveillance footage near the 10200 block of Northwest 26th Avenue showed Thompson shoot Gonzalez in the head, the report said. Gonzalez later died from his injuries. The report said a gun that was later found at Thompson’s home matched the bullet casing found at the scene of the murder. Thompson was being held without bond Thursday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn’t available.

Gold Rush Gaming Named in Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval Federal Corruption Probe

When federal agents raided the home and offices of Illinois StateSenator Martin Sandoval (D-12th) last month, among their targets were documents related to local gaming operator Gold Rush Gaming, according to a search and seizure warrant published Friday. Also on their radar were powerful players in Illinois’ construction, transportation, and energy sectors, as well as influential lobbyists and at least three suburban mayors, according to the unredacted 12-page As chairman of the powerful Senate Transportation Committee — a role from which he resigned Friday — Sandoval was instrumental in planning and implementing Governor J.B. Pritzker’s ambitious capital plan  that earmarked $45 billion for investment in infrastructure and state facilities over six years. Dubbed “Rebuild Illinois,” the plan also expanded gambling on an unprecedented level in the state, paving the way for a major casino in Chicago, as well as five smaller regional casinos in the southern suburbs. It has also increased the number of video gambling machines, as well as the maximum bet on the machines. Gold Rush Gaming bills itself as Illinois’ “premier terminal operator,” and has placed thousands of video-gaming terminals (VGTs) in bars, restaurants and slots parlors across the state. Gold Rush Gaming owner Rick Heidner is also involved in a venture called Playing in the Park LLC, which has applied to build a harness racing track and casino at Tinley Park in Chicago’s southern suburbs as part of the recent gaming expansion. The project received a racing license on September 24 from the Illinois Racing Board, which was coincidentally the day of the Sandoval raids. Heidner, a minor contributor to Governor Pritzker’s campaign, has yet to apply to the Gaming Board for a casino license.

Game room manager killed in Cloverleaf; police searching for masked shooters 

Deputies are searching for two masked gunmen who shot and killed the manager of a game room in Cloverleaf late Monday night. Two masked men were hanging outside the game room in the 700 block of Barbara Mae Boulevard around 10 p.m. when a woman, whose husband is the manager of the game room, walked outside and encountered the men. What transpired while the three were talking is unclear, but at some point, the woman’s husband went outside to check on her, according to Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. D. Wolfford. That’s when one of the men pulled a gun and shot the husband, Wolfford said. The two were last seen fleeing the business on foot. The manager was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Wolfford said. Detectives are hoping to recover surveillance video of the shooting to get a better description of the gunmen.

Woman who embezzled $1.3M from Fargo property management company sentenced to prison

A Pelican Rapids, Minn., woman who embezzled roughly $1.3 million from a Fargo property management company where she worked will spend more than three years in prison, a sentence that was harsher than what prosecutors recommended. Federal Judge Peter Welte ordered 53-year-old Mickey Haarstad be taken immediately into custody on Tuesday, Nov. 12, to serve 37 months in prison for mail fraud and money laundering, but not before calling her behavior “diabolical.” “You said stealing is wrong,” the judge told Haarstad. “This isn’t stealing money. This is breaking trust. This is hurting people.” Chase called Haarstad’s theft “pure greed” and “predatory action.” He cited reports of previous thefts she admitted to at other companies, noting her embezzlement at Campbell Properties was “continuous, repeated, shameless theft.” “This is a lifestyle this defendant got used to and had to pay for it,” Chase said in recommending a 25-month sentence.

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