A Brief Look at Crime 06/01 – 06/07

Former Omnis Health president admits to $760K embezzlement scheme with ‘bootleg’ tests

A former healthcare president pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to embezzling $763,887 from Omnis Health and tax evasion. Robert Burton, 50, of Madisonville, Louisiana, was charged in February with wire fraud and tax evasion linked to the embezzlement scheme. Burton was the president of Nashville-based Omnis between July 2013 and May 2017. The company is known for selling diabetic testing kits. As part of his plea deal, Burton admitted to embezzling the money over the course of more than three years by submitting fake reimbursement requests to the controller of Omnis, claiming that he bought supplies and had travel expenses that didn’t exist. According to court documents, he fabricated receipts to include with his reimbursement requests.

The Department of Justice says to get away with the scheme, Burton claimed he was using personal funds to buy “grey marker” and lower-priced “bootleg” diabetic testing supplies on the open market for research. Instead, authorities say he visited websites like Amazon, placed the products in in his cart, and printed it as a “receipt.” Investigators report that Burton was reimbursed at least $484,328 for supplies he never actually bought. He also received $203,747 for fraudulent flight reimbursements, along with credit card transaction receipts of at least $102,056. Rather than depositing the reimbursement checks, the Department of Justice says Burton cashed them and spent the money or loaded it onto prepaid debit cards. It’s believed that he often used the funds for gambling.

Gambling addict killed herself after spending year’s wages on online casinos

A university worker took her own life after spending almost her entire salary on online gambling sites. Natasha White, 34, became addicted to games like online roulette through apps she played at home, putting down bets of between £30 and £40 despite having no interest in visiting  casinos in person. Her grieving parents told the Daily Mail she was failed by her bank and betting firms after they discovered through statements that she would sometimes spend more than £1,000 of her £1,900-a-month wage in a little over 24 hours. 

Natasha spent £20,000 in a year on her addiction – which was more than her yearly salary – her parents found. Malta-based companies Casumo and MT SecureTrade were fined almost £6 million and almost £600,000 respectively to go towards projects promoting responsible gambling after licence breaches, the Mail reports. In 2017, Broadway Gaming Ireland was fined £100,000 by the Gambling Commission for ‘misleading’ promotions. Jan, of Telford, Shropshire, said: ‘If it hadn’t been for these websites I don’t believe she would have been drawn into gambling. ‘A few simple clicks of a button and you’ve lost your whole salary. Surely banks are able to monitor what customers are doing.’

Four Convicted In Federal Dogfighting Case (FL)

A federal jury has convicted Shane Patrick Sprague, 35, of Pensacola of felony conspiracy to violate the dogfighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Co-defendants James “Tommy” Peek, 67, and Haley Cook Murph, 24, both of Milton, and David Lee Moser, 36, of Waynesboro, Tennessee, had previously pleaded guilty to seven federal felonies for their involvement with Sprague and others in a dogfighting operation centered in Pensacola. The jury acquitted co-defendant Derek Jedidiah Golson, 38, also of Pensacola.

Evidence at trial, along with admissions made by the pleading defendants in conjunction with their plea agreements, established that Sprague operated C Wood Kennels, a dogfighting operation that arranged dogfights and trafficked in fighting dogs with Moser and others outside of Florida. Moser admitted that he and Sprague agreed to fight their dogs against one another and to prepare a dog for a dogfight, and that they had discussed concealing evidence that one of Moser’s dogs had killed another dog. “These barbaric acts of animal cruelty have no place in a civilized society, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will pursue and prosecute these criminals to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe of the Northern District of Florida. “Societies are measured in part by how well they treat their domestic animals, and these defendants failed that test miserably – and now will pay the consequences.”

Attorney alleged to have stolen $2 million from estate

An attorney indicted on 55 charges is alleged to have stolen more than $2 million from a Greene County Probate Court estate and trust. Brian Wiggins, 36, of Mason, was arrested March 4 and is in the Greene County Jail on a $1 million bond, no 10 percent. According to the Feb. 27 indictment, Wiggins is charged with one count of identity fraud, a second-degree felony; two counts of aggravated theft of $1.5 million or more, a first-degree felony; 41 counts of money laundering, a third-degree felony; four counts of theft, a fifth-degree felony; four counts of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony; one count of tampering with records, a third-degree felony; two counts of possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony. The crimes allegedly happened between December 2015 and February 2020. Wiggins allegedly spent the money on houses, a car, a boat, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, gambling in casinos, and payment of personal child support, Hayes said.

Landis business owner charged with operating illegal gambling establishment

A Landis business owner was charged Tuesday with offenses related to operating a gambling establishment after a month long investigation by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. Jack Lewis Faggart Jr., 59, of China Grove, was charged with two counts of operating/possessing a slot machine, permitting the use of a slot machine at a location under his management or control, possessing gaming machines that allowed the machines to exceed the limits of eight accumulated credits or replays and operating more than five video gaming Machines. Faggart, the owner of Snack Shack, was operating under the guise of being a convenience store/landscaping supply business in Landis, the sheriff’s office said.

The search warrant was based on an undercover operation and citizen complaints that the business was a gambling establishment and also violating the governor’s stay-at-home order, according to the sheriff’s Office. During the search of the business, detectives seized six central processing units connected to gaming terminals, three motherboards, one server, documents and $11,343 in cash. Records showed that the gaming machines were taking in more than $10,000 per week and profiting multiple thousands of dollars per week, a news release said.

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