A Brief Look at Crime 02/03 – 02/09

Illinois Gaming Board moves to yank video gambling license after accusing owner of offering a $5 million ‘illegal inducement’ to betting parlor chain

The Illinois Gaming Board has moved to strip video gambling operator Rick Heidner of his license after accusing him of offering a $5 million “illegal inducement” to the owner of a chain of gambling parlors, records show. State officials filed the action Tuesday, saying they had learned that Heidner, who operates Gold Rush Amusements, with multiple sites in the Sauk Valley, offered the money after the owners of Laredo Hospitality told him they were moving to pull his video gambling machines from 44 of their gambling parlors, according to the complaint for disciplinary action filed with the board by its staff. The Tribune obtained the complaint through an open records request.

Gaming officials filed two counts against Gold Rush. The first alleges that Heidner violated the Video Gaming Act prohibition against “giving anything of value to an establishment as an incentive or inducement to locate (video gaming terminals) in that establishment.” The second count cites a nearly identical prohibition that “requires that licensed terminal operators ‘offer or provide nothing of value to any licensed video gaming location or any agent or representative of any licensed video gaming location as an incentive or inducement to locate, keep or maintain video gaming terminals at the licensed video gaming Location.” After each count in the complaint, Gaming officials wrote Gold Rush’s “terminal operator license should be REVOKED.”

Brothers guilty of Marysville murder for casino winnings

Two brothers have been convicted of robbing and killing a man for his casino winnings last year outside the Village Motor Inn in Marysville. A jury found both Jorge Nava “Speedy” Martinez Jr., 33, and Jose Antonio “Chi Chi” Nava, 32, guilty Tuesday afternoon of first-degree murder. On Feb. 20, 2018, the brothers attacked Tye Burley outside of the Motor Inn, knocking him to the ground and kicking him. Martinez was accused of firing the fatal shot — by accident, he has said, according to a statement from his mother that appears in court papers. And Nava took Burley’s wallet, possibly filled with up to $7,000 in cash, according to the charges. Burley, 30, died two days later at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the head. Martinez and Nava were arrested days later in California.

Former Pastor Steals $288K From Church to Feed Gambling Addiction

A former pastor who embezzled more than $288,000 from the United Pentecostal Church has been sentenced to five years of probation. The Missoulian reports 66-year-old Kenneth Hogue was sentenced in federal court in Missoula on Thursday after previously pleading guilty to a wire fraud charge. Hogue was responsible for depositing offerings and writing checks for expenses in his role as treasurer of the church’s Rocky Mountain District. Prosecutors say he wrote himself unauthorized checks, withdrew church money from an ATM and transferred funds into his account from 2012 to 2016. A $5,000 transfer alerted authorities to the theft. Hogue’s attorney said his client siphoned the money to feed a gambling addiction and started paying the church back long before he was charged.

Taiwanese actor Ming Dao’s brother suspected of killing wife and child in grisly gambling debt related murder-suicide 

Taiwanese actor Ming Dao’s older brother was reportedly found dead with his wife and son on Sunday afternoon (Jan 5) in a forested area beside a temple in Neihu District, Taipei. According to Taiwanese news outlet Apple Daily, Ming’s brother, a 42-year-old man surnamed Lin, was found hanging from a tree while his wife, a 40-year-old woman and their 12-year-old son were found dead beside him. Both reportedly had strangulation marks on their necks – giving rise to speculation that Lin had killed his own wife and child in a murder-suicide. The 39-year-old said he often had to help his brother pay off debts and felt silly for saving money just for his brother to gamble it away and once called him a “ticking time bomb”.

Timeshare resort manager arrested for massive elder fraud and embezzlement targeting timeshare owners 

Katherine Tice Craig, a/k/a Kathy Tice, has been arraigned on federal charges of mail fraud.   The defendant allegedly embezzled over $2 million dollars from a company she was managing. “Craig’s scheme defrauded over 1,000 timeshare owners who were her employer’s customers,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.   “Most of these victims were elderly. She allegedly collected and spent the fees owed the company on gambling and trips for herself.” Craig spent much of the embezzled funds on gambling, including many trips to the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, and high-volume purchases of Georgia Lottery tickets.   Money that should have been used by CSG to run the resort and fulfill its obligations to timeshare owners was allegedly embezzled by Craig instead.

Two Shot at Illegal Gambling Facility in Long Beach 

Two people were wounded Monday night in a shooting inside an illegal gambling facility in Long Beach. Police responded to the 1100 block of East Artesia Boulevard, near Lemon Avenue, about 9:20 p.m. and found a man with gunshot wounds to his upper body and legs, according to the Long Beach Police Department. The man was taken to a hospital by Long Beach Fire Department paramedics, police said. While on scene, officers were informed of a second victim who was also shot in the upper body and legs, but drove himself to a hospital, police said. Both victims had stable vital signs, police said.

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