A Brief Look at Crime 12/30 – 01/05

California casino manager busted for $200,000 embezzlement

A floor manager at the Red Hawk Tribal Casino in Placerville, California has been busted for leading a scam that ultimately saw the gambling house lose over $200,000. Prak Pich used his position to give lines of credits to a gambler, Luc Mooc, and then altered the paper trails of the credits to make it appear that they had been paid back. That would never have been possible with blockchain record-keeping. The California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, released a statement about the ordeal, explaining, These short term, no-interest credit lines are commonly extended by casinos to allow approved patrons easy access to gambling funds, with the understanding that the temporary loan would be repaid within a short period of time. However, instead of paying back the loans, Mooc and Pich allegedly conspired to steal the funds that would range anywhere from $12,000 to $14,000 at a time.” There have been plenty of instances in the past of casino employees getting a little too creative with their duties, but almost invariably they are caught. Casinos have been around long enough to know the tricks and it isn’t difficult to figure out when something is not quite right.

Mom arrested for leaving kids in car at Detroit casino 

A 27-year-old Detroit woman was arrested over the weekend for leaving her two young children in a car while she was in a casino. The woman was taken into custody at about 12:20 a.m. Sunday at the MGM Grand Detroit‘s parking garage, said Jennifer Watson, a Detroit Police Department spokeswoman. The woman is accused of leaving her 2-year-old boy and 4-month-old girl locked inside her 2015 Chevrolet Equinox while she was in the casino, Watson said. Police said a casino patron saw the children in the car and notified the casino‘s security. Security officers called Detroit Police and officers arrested the woman as she returned to the vehicle. Watson said the woman was inside the casino for at least one hour. Watson said she was arrested for child abandonment. Under state law, the crime is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If convicted of abandonment, the state could also terminate a person‘s parental rights.

Woman leaves 4-year-old girl in Wind Creek hotel room to gamble

A New Jersey woman is accused of leaving a 4-year-old girl alone in a hotel room to gamble at the Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem. Police were called at 4 a.m. Saturday for the little girl wandering alone in the casino’s hotel lobby. Police found a bystander with the little girl, and he told police he found the girl alone in the lobby. The girl told officers she was looking for Rebecca Yandoli. The 26-year-old Yandoli was found on the main floor of the casino, gambling, police said. Yandoli reportedly told officers she left the girl alone in the hotel room at about 1:15 a.m., and then went to gamble. Yandoli, who lives in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with child endangerment. She was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Report: Woman left baby alone in car while gambling 

A woman has been arrested, accused of leaving a baby inside a car while she went gambling at a video arcade, deputies say. It was a losing wager, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and if it weren’t for another person who stepped in, it’s unclear how long that baby would have been out there alone. At a gaming business called Treasures of Hope, deputies say one woman hoped to earn enough treasure to pay her bills. Instead, Michelle Puma was thrown behind bars, accused of leaving a one-year-old in her car while she gambled inside. “She thought that she could go in there and win money while the child slept the whole time. It’s really hard to fathom. It’s unimaginable, really,” said Lt. John Herrell, spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies say another woman was heading inside the online gaming lounge on State Road 19 in Umatilla when she heard a child crying. She eventually found a baby in a car. According to an arrest report, she stayed with the baby for about 20 minutes, took it out “to console her” and called teh cops.

Alabama Man Charged With Leaving Child in Cold Car at Casino

An Alabama man accused of leaving a 6-year-old girl in a cold car in a casino parking lot has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, nearly four years after the crime was reported in February 2016. Zachary Hines was served a warrant for the misdemeanor charge on Wednesday, The Montgomery Advertiser reported. Police documents from the time allege that on Valentine’s Day 2016, Hines arrived for work at the Wind Creek Casino just after midnight with the girl in the car. The now 26-year-old left the car unlocked and went inside, according to court records. Historic temperature data shows it was about 34 degrees that night. A Poarch Creek tribal police officer was notified by a casino patron there was a child inside a car crying. The officer put the shivering girl in a patrol vehicle to warm her up, an arrest warrant Documented. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received the warrant three days after it was signed on Feb. 19, 2016, records show, but it wasn’t served until Wednesday. It’s unclear what caused the nearly 4-year delay.

Pair Arrested After 7-Year-Old Found Alone in Car at Florida Casino Garage

A couple from Ecuador is facing charges in Broward County after authorities said they left a 7-year-old girl in a car while they were in the casino at the Seminole Hard Rock. Sintia Pinargote, 31, and Carlos Enrique Herrera Pluas, 32, were arrested Sunday by Seminole Police on charges of child abuse without great bodily harm, Broward jail records showed. Pinargote and Pluas appeared in court Monday, where prosecutors said the girl was found in a car inside the casino’s garage around 12:30 a.m. Prosecutors said Pinargote said she had gone inside to pick up Pluas, her boyfriend, but surveillance cameras showed her arriving at the casino with Pluas around midnight. A Seminole Police spokesperson said the girl was left unattended in the car for about an hour. “Seminole Police and Casino Security officers follow a zero tolerance policy for children left alone in vehicles at Seminole Casinos,” the spokesperson said in a statement. The couple and Pinargote’s daughter were visiting from Ecuador for a Disney World trip and a cruise. The girl’s father is Enner Valencia, a famous soccer player from Ecuador who currently lives in Mexico and plays for Tigres UANL. The Department of Children and Families took custody of the girl, and a judge said she’ll be placed in a foster home for the time being.

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


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