A Brief Look at Crime 02/17 – 02/23

East Bay woman used company credit cards, bank accounts to fund gambling

A federal judge sentenced a Pinole woman to just more than two years in prison for her role in a wire fraud embezzlement scheme, authorities said. Sherryl Santos-Tan, 36, received a 25-month sentence and was ordered by Judge Edward M. Chen to pay restitution for wire fraud after she defrauded a person and her former employer of more than $300,000, U.S. Attorney David Anderson of the Northern District of California said. According to Anderson, Santos-Tan admitted in her plea that she exploited the use of credit cards that didn’t belong to her. She also said she diverte money to accounts under her control, made purchases for her own personal use, and used the money at casinos.

Ex-‘Bachelor’ Contestant Stripped of $1M Fantasy Sports Win

Sports gambling giant DraftKings won’t give a former “Bachelor” contestant the $1 million prize for winning an online fantasy football contest after she and her husband were accused of cheating. Jade Roper-Tolbert, who appeared in “The Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise” television series in 2015, was no longer listed as the winner of DraftKings’ “Millionaire Maker” contest, which involved picking a lineup of players from the NFL’s four wild-card games. Roper-Tolbert beat more than 100,000 entries to take the top prize in the “Millionaire Maker contest.” But some in the fantasy sports community were quick to complain that both she and her husband, Tanner Tolbert, also an alum of the “Bachelor” franchise, each submitted the maximum 150 entries allowed in the contest, and that nearly all the entries had a uniquely different lineup of players. That suggests the two may have colluded to give themselves the best shot at winning the top prize, which is not allowed under the contest rules.

Young children left unattended while parents gamble at Massachusetts casinos

25 Investigates found 21 reports of adults leaving children unattended at the three Massachusetts casinos in 18 months, according to records from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and State Police. Ten of those incidents were reported during Encore Boston Harbor’s first six months of business. The reports show many of the children involved were under the age of 12. In one incident, a 6-year-old boy was found wandering the sixth floor of the hotel. The boy had “urinated his pants,” and told security “his mother was in the casino,” the report said. Investigators later determined he was left alone in the room for six hours. “This is par for the course with a casino,” said Marlene Warner, executive director at the Mass Council on Compulsive Gambling. “No, I don’t think this is normal behavior,” Warner said. “Leaving your six-year-old unattended in a hotel room for hours on end? You run down the hall for ice, that’s normal. Leaving someone for hours is not normal.” Warner said preoccupation or being too distracted to focus on your children, is a warning sign for a potential gambling addiction. “It’s a playground for adults whether they have a gambling problem or not, and I think often times responsibilities are thrown aside. Unfortunately, sometimes I think that means care for their children,” Warner said.

4 killed in cockfighting ring in Vietnam

Four people were shot dead at an illegal cockfighting betting ring in southern Vietnam, state media reported on. Local residents heard gunshots and screams from a garden where the cockfight took place, according to Cong An Nhan dan website, the Ministry of Public Security’s official mouthpiece. “There was a quarrel over cockfight betting which led to the shooting,” the website reported. State-run VNExpress news site said the suspected shooter fled the scene on a motorbike and was arrested later on Wednesday. Police refused to Comment. Gun violence is extremely uncommon in Vietnam, where it is illegal for citizens to own firearms and the black market for weapons is limited. Betting on cockfights is also illegal, although the pastime is ubiquitous underground in the gambling-mad country.

8 Miami Residents Plead Guilty To Scheme To Steal Millions From Miccosukee Casino 

Eight Miami-Dade County residents could face 20-year prison sentences each after pleading guilty to computer fraud and an embezzlement scheme to steal millions from Miccosukee Resort & Gaming. Federal authorities say four of the defendants, Michel Aleu, Lester Lavin, Yohander Jorrin Melhen, and Leonardo Betancourt, were all former employees and licensees of Miccosukee Gaming. They pled guilty and were convicted of conspiracy to steal funds from Miccosukee Gaming, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and money laundering conspiracy. Their respective wives, Maria Del Pilar, Anisleydi Vergel Hermida, and Milagros Marile Acosta Torres, pled guilty and stand convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses.

Marlow IT boss used company cash to buy £175k-worth of phones to fund gambling habit

The IT boss of an international City law firm who used company cash to buy £175,000 worth of high-end mobile phones, which he sold to fund his online gambling habit has been spared jail. Instead, Marlow father-of-two Justin Lowdon, 44, who was employed by US-based Proskauer Rose at their Bishopsgate office received a suspended two year jail sentence on Thursday (February 6). Recorder SJ Phillips QC told him: “The amount was significant. You were employed as the IT manager and you ordered mobile phones, which were not required and sold them on for your own benefit. “The reason you did this is because you were under a lot of stress in your job, you had an online gambling addiction and significant personal debt. “There is no excuse for what you did and this criminal behaviour you know is wrong and you should not have done it.

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