A Brief Look at Crime 9/21 – 10/04

7 Accused of Stealing $390K Through PPP Loan, Casino Money Laundering Scheme, SC Feds Say

Three South Carolina residents and four Georgians were charged this week with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in a major scheme involving a casino, drugs, and stealing hundreds of thousands through a Paycheck Protection Program loan, U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Peter M. McCoy announced Thursday. The seven individuals are accused of laundering more $*750,000* of fraudulently obtained funds, which includes more than $*390,000* from a PPP loan (which is a part of the CARES Act to provide economic relief to businesses suffering in the COVID-19 pandemic), according to the release from McCoy’s office. “The defendants used a variety of methods to launder the money, including laundering the money through a casino,” the release from McCoy’s office said.

Dice Games Linked To Deadly Shootings In Baltimore, Police Commissioner Says

Disputes stemming from dice games led to several violent crimes in Baltimore last week, police commissioner Michael Harrison said. Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and the commissioner were asked about the recent surge in violence leading to the deaths of at least 15 people and injuring 35 others. The police commissioner said many recent shootings have had multiple victims and are linked to illegal activities. Harrison linked a quintuple shooting Friday and a quadruple shooting Saturday to dice games. “So we’re working to make sure that no. 1, we can be where we need to be to prevent it and then are working to identify those people to hold them accountable,” he said. “What we need is community help to help identify these people because in many, if not most of them, people are out there and saw what happened and we really need members of our community to help us identify these bad actors who are causing harm and killing our people.” Harrison said city police are working with state and federal partners to solve these cases.

Center audit alleges $316,887 embezzled

Missouri auditors alleged on Wednesday that the former city clerk of Center siphoned at least $316,887 of taxpayer dollars for personal use from 2015 to 2019. Auditors said another $87,691 of questionable payments made by former City Clerk Tracey Ray were uncovered by staff from the Public Corruption and Fraud Division of Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office. Galloway said Ray’s alleged personal use of taxpayer money was a “serious breach of public trust and exposed dishonesty at the expense of taxpayers.” She said Ray paid personal expenses on unauthorized city credit cards, including trips to Las Vegas and Branson, concert tickets and numerous other vendors, including 666 separate purchases from Amazon.

Head of Pittsburgh area gambling ring, son, plead guilty to running numbers

The 90-year-old patriarch of a Pittsburgh family connected to gambling operations in Western Pennsylvania for more than a half century agreed to pay $300,000 to resolve charges the family operated a sports betting and numbers running business dating back to 1994. Robert “Bobby I” Iannelli, of Pittsburgh, along with his 60-year-old son, Robert “Rusty” Iannelli of Wexford, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Westmoreland County to overseeing a corrupt organization and operating illegal lotteries in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

Both were sentenced by Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio, under terms of negotiated plea bargains, to serve 10 years on probation. Both were ordered to pay $225,000 as a forfeiture of money they earned from the illegal betting as well as an additional $75,000 to cover the costs of five wiretaps used by state investigators during a six-month portion of the probe that ended in April 2017. “They’re in the gambling business. It’s lotteries and bookmaking. It’s a lucrative job,” said Deputy Attorney General Mark Serge. “This part of the operation spans Pittsburgh, eastern Allegheny County and into Westmoreland County. It was a substantial operation.”

Arrest made in weekend shooting at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs

A man was arrested Thursday in connection with a shooting early Monday in the parking garage at the Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs. Palm Springs police were dispatched to the scene around 3:15 a.m. and found a man suffering from gunshot wounds in the casino’s parking structure. The man is expected to recover from his injuries, officials said. Lt. William Hutchinson said Thursday that investigators arrested Jose Arlando Gomez, 28 of Palm Springs, in connection with the shooting. Hutchinson said the incident is being investigated as an attempted homicide. Whether the two men knew each other and the exact nature of their interaction leading up to the shooting are still being investigated, he said.

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