A Brief Look at Crime 01/11 – 01/17

Cleveland developer embezzled $885,000 from Eastside Market project during bad losing streak at casino

A Cleveland developer who found himself more than $1 million in the hole at the casino embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from a project to bring a grocery store and health services to the Glenville community, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Arthur Fayne, 58, faces nine counts of wire fraud from an indictment a grand jury in Toledo handed up last week. Prosecutors said Fayne stole more than $885,000 intended for a construction management contractor and an audio-visual technology installation subcontractor, as his company was used as an intermediary for payments made by a nonprofit behind the project. At the same time, Fayne was using his company’s money to gamble, losing large amounts between 2016 and 2018, according to the FBI.

U.S. Alleges Visa Fraud, Criminal Conspiracy at Saipan Casino

U.S. federal prosecutors indicted three people involved with Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. controversial casino project in Saipan for employing undocumented workers, making illegal money transfers, and participating in a criminal conspiracy — adding to the legal troubles connected to the Hong Kong operator. Prosecutors allege the trio conspired to illegally hire large numbers of Chinese laborers to work on the casino site, “instructing prospective hires to lie to immigration inspectors” on arrival by claiming they were tourists. The indictment includes a conspiracy charge under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a powerful legal tool used in the past against Mafia families in New York as well as the Hells Angels motorcycle club.

A black Ferrari and $62,000 at the casino: How some are living large with COVID relief aid 

The financial aid was meant to help those most in need during the pandemic. But millions of dollars from a COVID-19 relief fund instead are falling in the wrong hands: It’s been misspent on jewelry store spending sprees, high-stakes casino trips and glitzy cars — like a flashy Lamborghini and Ferrari. Of the dozens of South Floridians accused of defrauding the government, some of them have been caught using their ill-gotten gains to live high-flying lifestyles, federal prosecutors say. Court records obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel shed new light on how extensive the COVID-19 relief fraud has been across the region. One man accused of fraud applied for and received a loan, claiming the money was for his business. Instead, he spent $95,000 at jewelry stores, $62,000 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, $6,630 on flights, $5,300 at Gucci, $2,000 at Dior, and $1,000 at Milano Exchange, prosecutors say.

Dunsmuir woman gambled away money she embezzled as property manager

A Dunsmuir woman accused of gambling away thousands of dollars she embezzled while working as a property manager was sentenced Wednesday to a suspended 10 years, four months in prison. Jeannine Marie Tobey, 73 of Dunsmuir, pleaded guilty in July to eight felonies, said Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus. Given her  age and the current COVID-19 crisis she will not be required to serve immediate jail time. However, Andrus said, Tobey must pay all restitution by the end of her three-year probationary period on Dec. 1, 2023. “The victims deserve to collect money … that Ms. Tobey flushed down the toilet of an apparent gambling addiction,” Andrus said. “Tobey claimed that between 2014 and 2016 she began having serious financial trouble. Witnesses reported that she had a severe gambling problem,” Andrus said. Tobey admitted to the sergeant that she had removed thousands of dollars of client funds from the escrow account and had spent them gambling, said Andrus.

Bookmakers ‘helped gambling addict squander injury compensation’

Two leading bookmakers helped a severely disabled gambling addict fill out betting slips as he squandered his compensation from a botched operation, it has been claimed. Lawyers for Liam McCarron say that Ladbrokes Coral and Paddy Power failed to intervene over more than three years as his losses reached at least £500,000. McCarron had been a successful businessman until 2007, when he sustained “catastrophic” injuries during a medical procedure, leading to permanent and severe impairment of his movement and speech.

In a letter seen by the Guardian, McCarron’s lawyers say it should have been obvious to both companies that he was a vulnerable person who could not have been earning a salary and was likely to be gambling beyond his means. According to the claim, which has been forwarded to the Gambling Commission, staff at Ladbrokes  were aware that he was using the diminishing proceeds of a one-off payout, writing in internal notes in 2014 that he had “received substantial compensation”. But they allegedly failed to take proper steps to address his gambling disorder until 2017, when staff at Ladbrokes’ sister company, Coral, asked him to fill out a form proving his source of funds. He was unable to do so because he would have required the help of his wife, who was not aware of the extent of his gambling losses.

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