A Brief Look at Crime 03/09 – 03/15

Mother accused of leaving infant at casino hotel charged with two felonies

A woman sought by police after an infant was abandoned in a casino hotel in Niagara Falls was taken into custody Monday morning, according to police. Sherone Littleton, 28, was arrested on Floss Avenue in Buffalo by Niagara Falls police and members of a U.S. Marshals task force, police said in a news release. Littleton’s 10-month-old son was found abandoned in Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino on Jan. 31. Littleton was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a class D felony; abandonment of a child, a class E felony; and child endangerment, a misdemeanor, police said. Late last week, police announced they were looking for Littleton and asked for the public’s help finding her. They said she told a detective she was in Ohio, but they didn’t believe that was true. Buffalo Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen last week took to Facebook  and made a personal plea for Littleton to turn herself in. A housekeeper found the infant in the ice machine room on the 18th floor of the hotel at about 10:45 a.m. Jan. 31, after guests contacted hotel staff about a crying baby, police said.

MGM Resorts Data Breach Exposes Personal Information Of 10.6 Million Guests

Were you hacked at your last stay at an MGM Grand property? Personal data details of some 10.6 million guests was reportedly posted on a hacker forum this week. MGM confirmed that the breach took place last year. It says the company reported the breach to residents of states that require reporting of breaches of “phonebook data.” A ZD Net report says that it’s not just holiday travelers whose data was exposed. Personal and contact information was leaked for celebrities, reporters and perhaps most worryingly, for US military and government officials and executives at technology companies. Two names mentioned are Justin Bieber and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. ”Last summer, we discovered unauthorized access to a cloud server that contained a limited amount of information for certain previous guests of MGM Resorts. We are confident that no financial, payment card or password data was involved in this matter,” said an MGM spokesperson. “MGM Resorts promptly notified guests potentially impacted by this incident in accordance with applicable state laws,”

A Southern California man charged with bilking nearly $150 million out of 70,000 investors worldwide

A Southern California man charged with bilking nearly $150 million out of 70,000 investors worldwide through a phony digital currency scheme has agreed to enter a guilty plea to federal charges, it was announced Wednesday. Steven Chen, 62, of Bradbury agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of tax evasion, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced. “Mr. Chen’s promises to investors were as worthless as his non-existent mines and phony digital currency,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said in a statement. “This case should remind all investors that trappings of success may convey legitimacy, but everyone should exercise extreme care when considering giving hard-earned money to any outfit promoting trendy products and extravagant profits.” Chen used millions of dollars in proceeds to buy homes and pay for a gambling habit, authorities said.

Brother of Chicago Bears legend among 10 charged in illegal gambling scheme 

Casey Urlacher, the brother of Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, was among those charged this week in an illegal offshore gambling scheme. Urlacher and eight others helped supposed ringleader Vincent Delgiudice — also known as “Uncle Mick” — take sports bets and placed them in an illegal sports book based in Costa Rica, prosecutors alleged in a 28 page indictment unsealed in the Northern District of Illinois. “It was further part of the conspiracy that Vincent Delgiudice used Federal Express to cause the cashier’s checks and money orders to be delivered to the addresses in Costa Rica supplied by Individuals 1 and 2,” the indictment says. “And others who worked for or were associated with Company A.” Urlacher is also the Mayor of Mettawa, Illinois and prosecutors alleged that he also made bets with Delgiduice, who prosecutors say accepted wagers from as many as 1,000 gamblers. According to the Justice Department, a “law enforcement search of Delgiudice’s residence in Orland Park seized more than $1.06 million in cash; silver bars and jewelry valued at $347,895; and gold coins valued at $92,623.”

Casino management ignored workers’ warnings about money laundering

The president of one of B.C.’s biggest labour unions is asking the province’s public inquiry on money laundering to consider how illegal money has affected the lives of everyday working people. Stephanie Smith, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, told the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering that union members have been dealing with the problem for decades. That includes dealing with criminals trying to clean illegal cash through casinos or facing the ever-rising home prices that have been linked to that same cash. “Workers in some casinos have faced a visible organized crime presence for at least two decades,” Smith said in her opening statements on Monday. “All too often, casino management has ignored these issues or ever encouraged them.” B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen sits at the head of the commission, which will hear opening statements this week from stakeholders with formal standing in the inquiry.

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


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