A Brief Look at Crime 05/04 – 05/10

PokerStars Founder Pleads Guilty to Illegal Online Gambling

The founder of PokerStars Wednesday to running an illegal online gambling business, nine years after he and other online poker executives were indicted by prosecutors in New York. Isai Scheinberg and 10 other principals at three online gambling companies were charged by federal prosecutors in New York in March 2011 with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling. The other executives have all pleaded guilty and been sentenced. PokerStars agreed in 2012 to pay $731 million to settle the charges with the Justice Department, without admitting wrongdoing. Scheinberg, 73, a dual Canadian and Israeli national, was arrested in Switzerland in June 2019 and was brought to the U.S. in January after  dropping an extradition challenge. He faces as long as five years in prison at sentencing, which has yet to be set.

Suspect in shooting death of Brooklyn man over gambling debt turns himself in, charged with murder

A suspect in the shooting death of a Brooklyn man over a gambling debt turned himself in to police and has been charged with murder, authorities said Tuesday. James Johnson surrendered without a lawyer at the 73rd Precinct station house Monday, cops said. He was charged with murder and gun possession for the slaying of 38-year-old Linton Brown in Brownsville. When questioned, Johnson, 41, said he owed Brown a gambling debt and Brown had repeatedly threatened him and his family while trying to recoup the money, sources said. Johnson has two prior arrests on his record, police sources said, a drug possession bust in 2002 and a gambling rap in 2004.

Bradley Chapman jailed after snatching jewellery and cameras to feed gambling addiction

A PROLIFIC criminal has been jailed after snatching a stash of jewellery and digital cameras to feed his “gambling addiction”. Bradley Chapman, who has 31 previous convictions, smashed through a first-floor bathroom window at a home in Welbeck Road. He rifled through the homeowner’s belongings and drawers stealing a jewellery box, three digital cameras and an assortment of lenses. The 33-year-old who already has five previous convictions for burglary left muddy footprints and even searched the attic while looking for personal items to steal. Now Chapman has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to one count of domestic burglary. During the trial on March 20, Judge Langley said the victim did not want her victim statement read out in court. He added it was clear there was trauma caused and that Champan’s victim had suffered nightmares and been left feeling anxious.

It’s very underground:’ Dog fighting happening locally, but difficult to track 

Dog fighting is a practice that dates back to ancient times. Now, here in the Valley, it is a practice that is kept secret and hard to track. Dog fighting is where dogs are forced to fight one another, as people watch and place bets. As inhumane as it may seem, it still goes on right here in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. “Dog fighting is found probably in every area, everywhere in the country. It’s not exclusive to any particular neighborhood, any particular state, city, economic background,” said Mary Louk, board president for Animal Charity. Although it is happening, tracking it is what is difficult.

“They do crazy things with these poor dogs. The fighting dogs, I mean, they’re more victims than anything else. They throw them in the back of trunks, and they have loud music, and they scoot around, you know driving fast, crazy to disorient the dogs. Then, they take them out and they see which ones can fight. Also, they’ll put them in with stallions, they’ll put them in with alligators, to get them to fight they really use and abuse them,” said Sharon McElroy, president of the board of Columbiana County Humane Society.

California, Texas Police Confiscate 172 Gaming Machines in Separate Searches (CA)

California authorities recently seized 125 alleged illegal gambling machines from an unlicensed gaming business operating near Modesto, while separately, Dallas authorities confiscated 47 alleged illegal machines in that Texas city, according to news reports. Among them were many that offered fish games. In their search, California authorities also seized three guns from the Modesto region site. These include: a pistol, shotgun and an AR-15 rifle. Authorities searched the alleged illegal gaming operation after following someone there who was on probation. Police had the gaming operation under watch even before the search took place. When law enforcement officers entered the 2,000 square foot building, they saw 29 people. The suspects were detained and placed in handcuffs. Three were arrested. Police and other officials are continuing to investigate the operation.

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