Church volunteer accused of stealing

FL - TAMPA - Michael McKenzie spent years attending the Port Tampa United Methodist Church, now police say he's charged with stealing more than $200,000 from it. McKenzie confessed to stealing the cash to support a drug and gambling habit, police said.
www.myfoxtampabay.com / April Kellogg / 08 Apr 2009

Economics professor tells House what it wants to hear
FL - The House just heard lengthy testimony from Earl Grinols, an anti-gambling economics professor at Baylor University in Texas. Grinols told House members that casino gambling could cause crime to rise 5 to 8 percent in local communities, with an uptick in areas like burglary, larceny and even murder. And he said any gambling revenues would be offset by social costs in divorces, bankruptcies, suicides, etc.
blogs.trb.com / by Nick Sortal / March 30, 2009

Priest gets 4-year sentence for Fla. church theft
FL - A Florida priest convicted of stealing money from his church was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison, the second cleric to be imprisoned for taking thousands of dollars from the same congregation. The Rev. John Skehan, 81, was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $370,000 from the same church. Authorities claimed the two priests took the money to fund lavish lifestyles, including upscale homes, gambling trips and rare coin collections.
www.forbes.com / 03.25.09

Man Attacks 2 Women At Casino Hotel, Tampa Police Say
FL - Accused of attacking his girlfriend and his godsister at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, After the woman fell to the ground and hit her head, Trinh punched his girlfriend in the face and began choking her.
www2.tbo.com / TBO.com / March 2, 2009

Robbers who preyed on casino winners draw prison terms
FL - After pleading guilty to federal charges, four men who stole the winnings of two poker players after they left the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino a year ago were sentenced to at least seven years in prison each, while the casino guard who helped them got close to five years, authorities said Wednesday.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun Sentinel / By Dianna Cahn / March 5, 2009

Problem Gambling Awareness Week: Shining the Light on Problem Gambling's Impact on Crime
FL - According to statistics from the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling 24 Hour HelpLine from January 2008 through January 2009: * Almost one in every three callers (30%) admit to committing illegal acts to finance their gambling, committing crimes that are linked to money. * Almost two out of three callers (62%) reported committing fraud, writing bad checks or forgery... * One out of five callers (21%) stated they had embezzled money for employers... * One out of five callers (21%)claimed to have committed larceny or theft against friends, family members or strangers... * One out of 14 callers (7%) stated they had been involved with other illegal activities such as selling drugs, prostitution, illegal gambling (booking) and others... * One out of ten (11%) had been arrested and given probation... * Almost one out of every four callers (24%) had been arrested and sent to jail/prison and received probation... * One out of three callers (64%) had civil actions brought against them such as lawsuits for failure to repay debts (credit cards, loans, and child support), divorce, foreclosure of residence and others... DCF SUPERVISOR gets 17 years in prison for embezzling 1.54 million dollars. The money was used by the DCF supervisor and her 2 friends to gamble, LUXURY AUTO DEALER embezzles $500,000 to fuel gambling habit... CLEARWATER ACCOUNTANT steals 1.6 million dollars to fund addiction (horse betting). DELRAY BEACH PRIESTS embezzle over 8 million dollars to fund gambling trips... WEIGHT WATCHERS... Ex-bookkeeper lost large amounts of money she embezzled. FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL TROOPER... He took money from people, During traffic stops. He used the money because of a... Gambling problem.
www.prweb.com / February 25, 2009

Ex-pastor only came to church office for cash, bookkeeper testifies
FL - The Rev. Francis Guinan, 66, faces up to 30 years in prison on a charge of grand theft of more than $100,000. He is accused of stealing nearly a half-million dollars from St. Vincent Ferrer, spending it on girlfriends, trips and supporting a gambling habit.
www.sun-sentinel.com / Brian Haas / February 18, 2009

Ex-bookkeeper charged with embezzling $775,000
FL - NAPLES -- A 45-year-old former bookkeeper is being held on nearly $500,000 bond on charges she embezzled about $775,000 from Pinnacle Home Builders of Marco Island and used the money to pay mortgages, bills and to gamble at a casino.
www.naplesnews.com / By AISLING SWIFT / February 13, 2009

Trooper Accused Of Stealing Cash From Drivers
FL - ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Florida Highway Patrol trooper pulled over drivers who he believed were illegal immigrants and then took their money and let them go. He told authorities he had a drinking and gambling problem.
www.wftv.com / February 13, 2009

Lakeland Woman Charged With Exploiting Elderly Man
FL - BARTOW | A Lakeland woman facing charges of swindling more than $1 million recently exploited an elderly man with memory problems, prosecutors say. Records also showed "a large volume of gambling activity" at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa...
www.theledger.com / By Jason Geary / February 11, 2009

Theft of North Miami employee funds will spur changes
FL - Debbie Falestra, the city's former purchasing director, was arrested Jan. 16 on 28 counts of grand theft. Police say she took $76,000 from the trust fund and said Falestra told authorities she had a gambling problem.
www.miamiherald.com / Friday, 01.30.09

Crooks Targeting Victims In Their Driveways
FL - It's happened twice now, once in Sunrise and once in Fort Lauderdale. In each case, police say the victims arrived home late after a night out at a casino.
cbs4.com / Jan 27, 2009

Elderly couple robbed at Florida casino
FL - "The robbery happened around 2 a.m. on Monday, January 19th, when the couple returned home after a night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.
www.casinocitytimes.com / 27 January 2009

Accountant Stole $1.6 Million For Gambling, Sheriff's Office Says
FL - CLEARWATER - An accountant was arrested Saturday on charges that he stole $1.6 million from a law firm for which he was doing some work, apparently to support a gambling habit, according to Pinellas County sheriff's records.
suncoastpinellas.tbo.com / David Sarnowski / January 26, 2009

Arrest unveils shady dealings of employees' trust fund
FL - North Miami officials are trying to figure out how a city administrator was able to allegedly steal more than $75,000 from a fund intended to help employees struggling financially. She told police she had financial troubles, and blamed them on a gambling problem.
www.miamiherald.com / BY CARLI TEPROFF / 01.20.09

Fla. priest accused of theft pleads guilty
FL - One of two Florida priests accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from their church pleaded guilty... Had been accused of taking $370,000... Prosecutors say the priests plucked cash from the offering plate and spent it on upscale homes, gambling trips to Las Vegas with a mistress,
www.kansascity.com / By BRIAN SKOLOFF / Jan. 20, 2009

City aide allegedly stole $76K in order to gamble
FL - Pointing to a ''gambling problem,'' police said North Miami's purchasing director illegally withdrew more than $76,000 from an employee emergency trust fund. She gambled at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood, authorities said.
www.miamiherald.com / Miami Herald / BY DAVID OVALLE / 01.17.09

Priest accused of theft may seek deal
FL - Allegedly stealing thousands of dollars in church money... Skehan... Spent money on lavish trips, gambling and girlfriends.
www.timesoftheinternet.com / Jan. 15/09

Judge rejects deal to let priest go home
FL - The priests are accused of systematically looting the Delray Beach parish collection plate to finance a lifestyle of heavy drinking, romantic affairs with women and gambling. Given the profound embarrassment of having two Bishops chased out of town by sexual scandals involving young men, Bishop Keith Simons in 1998 and Bishop Anthony O'Connell in 2002, the Diocese of Palm Beach County was trying to restore its image when the Skehan- Guinan scandal broke.
www.wptv.com / by: Tim Malloy / 1/14/09

Man Gets 10 Years For Stealing Laptops From Outback, Others
FL - TAMPA - A man who stole scores of laptop computers across the country, then sold them on eBay, was sentenced to 10 years in prison today. His thieving was fueled by a gambling addiction.
www2.tbo.com / By TOM BRENNAN / December 10, 2008

Valrico Woman Arrested On Prostitution Charges At Hard Rock Casino
FL - Two women were arrested on prostitution charges at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino this morning.
brandonnews2.tbo.com / The Tampa Tribune / By NEIL JOHNSON / November 23, 2008

Homeless man admits to stealing car in Martin County
FL - A homeless man admitted he stole a car and crashed it on Interstate 95 while on his way to a night at the Palm Beach Kennel Club...
www.tcpalm.com / November 22, 2008

DCF Supervisor Sentenced To 17 Years In Jail
FL - FORT LAUDERDALE... A former supervisor at the Department of Children & Families has been sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $1.5 million from the state welfare system. Gambled at local casinos with the money.
cbs4.com / Nov 21, 2008

3 women sentenced to prison in $1.7M Broward welfare theft
FL - A former supervisor at the state Department of Children & Families was sentenced to 17 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1.5 million from the welfare system. ''What she did is unconscionable,'' Broward Circuit Judge Eileen O'Connor said, adding moments later: ``She stole from people who didn't have enough money to eat, enough money to live.'' Moss estimated that the money stolen could have gone to more than 8,800 Broward households. Investigators said Jones used the money to buy two Lexus vehicles and to gamble at local casinos.
www.miamiherald.com / By DIANA MOSKOVITZ / 11.21.08

Son of Theft Suspect Faces 3 Felony Charges
FL - WINTER HAVEN | Investigators on Wednesday arrested the son of a woman awaiting trial on charges that she used her business to steal more than $1 million. Pitts has been charged with scheming to defraud, money laundering and 10 counts of grand theft. Pitts used the money to fuel a gambling addiction, investigators said.
www.theledger.com / Shoshana Walter / November 19, 2008

Suspect walks away with $1,800 in lottery tickets from Indian River store
FL - Law enforcement personnel hunting a Fort Lauderdale man accused of stealing large amounts of lottery tickets said he struck a 7-Eleven in Indian River County Saturday.
www.tcpalm.com / staff report / November 15, 2008

Prosecutor: Ex-FBI agent set up 1982 Miami murder
FL - The 1982 slaying of former World Jai-Alai president John Callahan was a direct result of Connolly's corrupt dealings with Winter Hill Gang leaders James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, prosecutor Fred Wyshak said. Both were secretly FBI informants handled by Connolly. Callahan had wanted Wheeler dead so he could retake control of World Jai-Alai, which Wheeler owned.
www.kansascity.com / By CURT ANDERSON / Nov 4, 2008

Lawyer who loved racehorses, gambling found dead
FL - Sheriff's detectives are investigating the suspicious death of a lawyer found dead... He bet $1 million a year on the sport (horse racing).
www.miamiherald.com / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / 10.12.08

Man Charged In 5 Pharmacy Holdups
FL - They did believe Patrick Papach, however, earlier this year when he told them online gambling debts were the reason he stole more than $54,000 from a company where he worked temporarily as an accountant, Pasha said. As to why he stole roughly $6,345 from a different company where he also worked temporarily, Papach, 33, never provided a reason, Pasha said. Video shows the robber pointing a handgun at employees and a customer as he orders them to the floor, Pasha said. He also fired a shot into the ceiling.
www2.tbo.com / The Tampa Tribune / By STEPHEN THOMPSON / September 20, 2008

Lawyer given 10 years for theft of money
FL - A Broward personal-injury lawyer is heading to prison for stealing his clients' money -- some of which he spent on drinking, drugs and gambling. A former attorney from Broward County was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to stealing more than $300,000 from his clients over a two-year period. After he found out authorities were searching for him, Dooley attempted suicide,
www.miamiherald.com / Miami Herald / BY TODD WRIGHT / Sep. 13, 2008

Judge cuts Abramoff's Fla. sentence by 2 years
FL - A federal judge agreed Wednesday to shave two years from former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff's prison sentence for a fraudulent Florida casino boat deal because of his extensive cooperation in that case and a wide-ranging political corruption probe that upended Washington politics. Abramoff also assisted in the prosecution of the SunCruz Casinos case, in which he and ex-partner Adam Kidan pleaded guilty to fraud in 2006 for concocting fake documents indicating they had put $23 million of their own money into the gambling fleet purchase.
ap.google.com / By CURT ANDERSON / 9.10.8

Elderly couple robbed in lottery scam
FL - A man and woman lied to an elderly couple in Orange City, convincing them to hand over $5,000, police said.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / by Walter Pacheco / Sep 4, 2008

Police: Greenacres woman stole $24,200 from firm's emergency fund, gambled it away
FL - An accounting manager for a Clematis Street computer science firm stole about a third of the company's emergency hurricane cash and squandered it on gambling... Ralls confessed to taking about a third of the company's $75,000 hurricane money...
www.palmbeachpost.com / By MICHAEL LaFORGIA / August 22, 2008

Gambling granny released from jail
FL - Hallandale Beach - The grandmother accused of neglecting two children while she gambled has been released from jail, officials said today. A witness saw the children, a 2-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy, in the car and alerted security at the casino.
www.sun-sentinel.com / By MACOLLVIE JEAN-FRANCOIS 8/20/08

Children Left Alone In Car While Grandmother Gambles Police Say 2-Year-Old, 9-Year-Old Spent About 30 Minutes In Car
FL - Police are investigating after two children were left alone in a parked car while their grandmother went gambling Tuesday. "We had a 9-year-old and a 2-year-old left unattended in a vehicle while the grandmother was inside the casino,"
www.local10.com / August 19, 2008

Two Clergymen Face Charges of Embezzlement
FL - Authorities say the pair spent more than $400,000 in church money on gambling...
www.theledger.com / July 2, 2008

3 Shot In Opa Locka
FL - The three people shot -- two men and a woman -- were playing slots.
www.nbc6.net / June 22, 2008

South Florida: Fourth suspect charged in robbery of poker players
FL - A fourth suspect was charged in the armed robbery of two people after they left the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood in March with big winnings, They shot at them and chased them, ultimately stealing $25,000 in winnings, the Sheriff's Office said.
www.sun-sentinel.com / June 19, 2008

Man gets time to relive the bank robbery rush
FL - SARASOTA COUNTY -- Ronny Guzman handed a North Port bank teller a robbery note and took $5,000 in cash, It was the first in a monthlong string of at least seven robberies from Clearwater to Port Charlotte that Guzman has admitted committing just for the thrill of it. Authorities say Guzman stole more than $15,000 before he was arrested in Clearwater, tripped up trying to unload some cash at a Hard Rock Seminole Casino slot machine.
www.heraldtribune.com / By Todd Ruger / May 27, 2008

Never Too Old To Gamble Nor Be Busted
FL - A dozen people - some senior citizens - were arrested on charges of racketeering and gambling... Investigators believe they have ties to traditional organized crime families located in New York. Involved "gambling, racketeering and loansharking"
cbs4.com / CNS News / May 23, 2008

Stolen credit cards bankroll lottery spree
FL - Police accused a 25-year-old of stealing credit cards and using them to buy thousands of dollars in scratch-off Lottery tickets.
www.heraldtribune.com / Anthony Cormier / May 16, 2008

T-Bolt Embezzler Serves 1st Year
FL - Kiernan stole [football team] $157,888... Which he used for gambling...
www.theledger.com / March 27, 2008

Employee Accused Of Ripping Off Youth Center
FL - A former Jacksonville youth center employee was recently arrested and charged with stealing thousands after the nonprofit organization's executive director discovered thousands of dollars missing from an account. He not only confessed to stealing the $9,000 but also blamed the theft on his gambling problem.
www.news4jax.com / March 21, 2008

Ex-casino staffer gets prison for free gambling sprees
FL - A former Seminole Casino Coconut Creek employee was sentenced Thursday to 21 months in prison for acting as the inside person who stole $570,000 in vouchers and passed them off to five regular customers.
www.sun-sentinel.com / By Jon Burstein / February 15, 2008

Thief Seeks Payback Chance
FL - A disbarred lawyer with a gambling addiction is taking his chances with a judge after pleading no contest to 17 counts of grand theft. (He) had a long and successful career as a probate attorney before his inability to control his gambling habit caused him to begin robbing and cheating clients to pay off his losses, He stole about $88,000 from a Virginia woman's inheritance and bilked 16 other clients of smaller sums, When Olson was arrested in January 2007, prosecutors estimated he had stolen a total of almost $200,000.
www2.tbo.com / By DAVID SOMMER / January 21, 2008

Auburndale Woman Charged in $1.28 Million Fraud Scheme
FL - HAINES CITY | The owner of a mobile home company has been arrested and charged with bilking nine victims out of more than $1.28 million in a housing scheme. Investigators said Pamela Akins Pitts, 48, of 1606 Robin St., Auburndale, used the money to cover gambling debts at several Tampa casinos.
www.theledger.com / December 21, 2007

Former Broward union leader Browne's conviction upheld
FL - A federal appellate court on Thursday upheld the corruption conviction and nearly six-year prison sentence of Walter J. Browne, once Broward County's most powerful labor leader. Devaney embezzled funds to feed a gambling addiction.
www.miamiherald.com / Oct. 26, 2007

SEC Dismisses Penalties Against Jail-Bound Embezzlers
FL - The SEC dismissed its claim for penalties against three Florida residents who admitted to stealing $35 million from their employee-owned company. In June, the court sentenced DeLoach, Garcia and Licata to prison terms of 97 months, 63 months and 63 months respectively. Licata used her share of the pilfered funds to purchase real estate in Florida and Nicaragua, and to support a high-rolling gambling habit.
www1.cchwallstreet.com / By Aaron Seward / October 25, 2007

BSO seeks help in finding woman's attacker
FL - Investigators are asking for help locating a man who attacked a Fort Lauderdale woman, then stole her purse outside a Pompano Beach casino earlier this month.
www.miamiherald.com / POMPANO BEACH / Oct. 17, 2007

Statistics show crime rate will rise
FL - The statistics are sobering. In communities that permit Class III casino gambling, such as Las Vegas-style slot machines, blackjack card games and even roulette or craps, the crime rate is nearly twice the national average. In addition to the public safety concerns, Floridians should consider the impact widespread casino gambling would have on one of our most valuable commodities - family-friendly tourism. Families come to Florida from all over the world to experience our beaches and attractions from the Panhandle to the Keys. According to the National Council on Problem Gaming, 18- to 24-year-olds show the highest rate of gambling addiction. The average compulsive gambler is more than $80,000 in debt.
www.jacksonville.com / the Times-Union / BILL MCCOLLUM / Oct. 1, 2007

Apology Follows Arrest In Car Dealer Thefts
FL - TAMPA - Walking handcuffed between two police officers, all Andrew J. Casale could say Friday was, "I'm sorry." Casale, 38, told investigators he used the stolen money to feed a gambling problem.
www.tbo.com / By VALERIE KALFRIN / Sep 15, 2007

Grandson arrested for stealing safe with money
FL - TAMPA -- 22 year old Austin Mathew Clanton was arrested and charged with grand theft Monday... Police say he stole from his 82-year-old grandfather to feed a gambling problem.
www.abcactionnews.com / Jul 24, 2007

Father leaves kids in car, plays poker
FL - JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say a father was charged with child neglect after leaving his two young sons in a parked car by themselves while he played poker (at Greyhound Park).
www.tampabays10.com / 7/20/2007

Bank robberies surge in the Tampa Bay area
FL - TAMPA -- The notorious Band-Aid Bandit is behind bars, but that hasn't spared local banks. Last year, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office investigated 17 bank robberies. Little more than half way through 2007, they've already had 24 cases. "For some reason, serial bank robberies are becoming a popular crime for individuals," said Couvertier(FBI agent). People with expensive addictions, whether to drugs or gambling, may turn to robbing banks for quick cash, Fish (Sgt.) said.
www.sptimes.com / By ABBIE VANSICKLE / July 12, 2007

Former Palm Beach County Commissioner Tony Masilotti sentenced to 5 years in prison
FL - A federal judge on Friday sentenced former County Commissioner Tony Masilotti to five years in prison in a far-reaching public corruption case... The veteran politician, Was convicted of leveraging his public office for private financial gain, with schemes spread over six years bringing him nearly $10 million in illicit profit. Upon his release, Masilotti will be supervised for two years and have to seek treatment for "pathological gambling," the judge said. Masilotti, a former Royal Palm Beach mayor elected to the County Commission in 1998, is the third Palm Beach County politician sentenced to prison in the last year.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / By Josh Hafenbrack / June 30 2007

Alleged bank robber caught
FL - A man who allegedly robbed a Punta Gorda bank last summer wearing an obvious wig, a fake mustache and sunglasses was arrested and booked into the Charlotte County Jail Wednesday. A woman who knew Holland contacted police after she saw a surveillance photo, the affidavit said. She told police that Holland had a gambling problem and was more than $100,000 in debt as a result.
www.sun-herald.com / 05/11/07

Feds seek sentence cut for ex-Abramoff partner Kidan
FL - Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to reduce the prison sentence of Jack Abramoff's former business partner in an ill-fated gambling fleet purchase. Kidan, 42, has provided assistance to state officials investigating the 2001 slaying of former SunCruz owner Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis. Abramoff, once a powerful Washington lobbyist, and Kidan pleaded guilty last year to concocting a fake $20 million wire transfer for the SunCruz purchase.
www.theledger.com / Associated Press / MIAMI / March 28, 2007

Police silence grieves parents of son who died
FL - Mark Grosso, had been found dead in a guest room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. Nearly a month later, the death is still under investigation. Domenic Grosso, a criminal-defense lawyer in Boca Raton, says he has pleaded with the Seminole Police Department for answers, but has gotten nowhere.
www.miamiherald.com / Miami Herald / BY KATHLEEN McGRORY / Feb. 27, 2007

Divorce lawyer, couple's $155,700 can't be found
FL - In 2003, a judge sentenced prominent Boca Raton development lawyer Robert Eisen to 21/2 years in prison after he admitted to looting trust accounts of at least $840,000 to feed an uncontrollable gambling habit.
www.palmbeachpost.com / Palm Beach Post / By Stephanie Slater / February 22, 2007

Accounting firm pays Nassau County $500,000 settlement
FL - An auditing firm has agreed to pay Nassau County $500,000 in a settlement after it did not catch a $1.1 million embezzlement by a county employee, who later committed suicide. She enjoyed taking gambling trips...
www.gainesville.com / The Associated Press / February 08. 2007

Man pleads guilty to racketeering
FL - Despondent, Steinberg racked up thousands of dollars in gambling debts, betting on the sports he could no longer play, and got involved with the wrong people, his father said. On Friday, Steinberg, 31, pleaded guilty in Fort Lauderdale federal court to racketeering conspiracy for engaging in a pattern of criminal activity as an associate of the Genovese crime family. "He made a lot of mistakes, but he was victimized too," his father, Irwin Steinberg, said. "He was caught in a trap of his gambling."
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / By Vanessa Blum / December 30 2006

Casino Arrest
FL - The "I told you so" types shouldn't be crowing because of the prostitution arrest in the new Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino slot machine room.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board / December 2 2006

Home builder accuses former bookkeeper of embezzling $550,000
FL - Police are investigating the former bookkeeper of a Marco Island-area home builder, which filed a lawsuit against the woman alleging she embezzled about $550,000 from the company's bank accounts. Naples attorney Richard Treiser, who represents Pinnacle, said an examination of credit card accounts tied to the Hughens show substantial charges at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.
www.naplesnews.com / By Chris W. Colby / December 1, 2006

First prostitution arrest reported at slots casino in Hallandale
FL - An undercover prostitution sting Wednesday night led to the first arrest inside Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino's slot machine room. Sheena Marie Kline, 21, approached an undercover Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent in the room's bar area and offered to have sex with him for $250, according to police reports. Kline, of Linden, Va., faces a misdemeanor count of offering to secure a lewd act and a felony count of illegally possessing a prescription painkiller.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / By Jon Burstein / December 1 2006

ISSUE: Tourism worker steals $1.5 million
FL - The woman in charge of paying the Convention and Visitors Bureau's bills was draining its bank account to feed a gambling habit. She wrote herself blank checks and skipped payments on payroll taxes. The theft drained the workers' pension account of $35,000, and the IRS is owed $750,000.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board / November 13 2006

Former official stole $1.5 million from Palm Beach County visitors bureau, report says
FL - The former controller of the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau stole at least $1.5 million over the past three years and left the tourism agency with a $750,000 tax liability, according to information presented Wednesday to the agency's executive committee. Duffer's attorney said Duffer stole from the bureau to cover for a gambling problem.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / By Peter Franceschina / November 9 2006

Accountant to look at convention bureau books
FL - Donna M. Duffer, the bureau's former controller, has been accused of stealing thousands to finance her gambling problem. Last week, bureau officials said Duffer admitted to forging signatures on checks she wrote to herself.
www.palmbeachpost.com / Palm Beach Post / By Jennifer Sorentrue / November 01, 2006

PBC employee fired for stealing tax money
FL - WEST PALM BEACH - A six-year employee of the county's convention and visitors bureau has been fired for stealing bed-tax money she used to finance her gambling addiction, officials said today.
www.palmbeachpost.com / Palm Beach Post / By DEANA POOLE / October 24, 2006

Skimming cases are blamed on lax accounting
FL - When Delray Beach detectives reported this month that two former pastors of St. Vincent Ferrer allegedly embezzled $8.6 million from the church's coffers over 42 years, parishioners were stunned. Guinan and Skehan are alleged to have used church funds to pay for their lovers' credit card bills as well as real estate, travel and gambling.
www.miami.com / BY ALEXANDRA ALTER / Oct. 14, 2006

Angry gambler plows his truck into Miccosukee casino's glass doors
FL - After dropping some cash at the Miccosukee Resort & Gaming hall in West Miami-Dade Thursday night, an unlucky gambler got into his pickup truck and crashed it into the casino's glass doors. Several witnesses said the man appeared angry as he left the casino, claiming he'd lost $10,000.
www.centredaily.com / Centre Daily Times / BY SUSAN ANASAGASTI AND DANI McCLAIN / Oct. 05, 2006

Three former PBSJ employees pleaded guilty to fraud
FL - Scott Deloach, former chief financial officer of PBSJ Corp., and two other former workers pleaded guilty to charges they engaged in a long-term scheme to embezzle more than $35 million from PBSJ. Licata used her share of the stolen funds to purchase real estate in Florida and Nicaragua, so as to engage in high-dollar gambling activities, according to the release.
charlotte.bizjournals.com / Tampa Bay Business Journal / September 29, 2006

Priests stole millions from parish, police say
FL - DELRAY BEACH, Fla. | Two Roman Catholic priests stole millions in offerings made to their parish over several years, authorities said Thursday. He is alleged to have stolen an unspecified amount of money to take gambling trips.
www.kansascity.com / The Associated Press / Sep. 29, 2006

3 charged in embezzlement scheme
FL - A former top executive of giant Miami engineering firm PBS&J was charged Monday in a $36 million embezzlement scheme and in the contribution of $11,000 to the campaign of Florida U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez through ``strawmen.'' The charges came out of a federal grand jury investigation into the embezzlement and whether PBS&J illegally reimbursed employees for thousands of dollars in political contributions to disguise their source. Ex-Chief Financial Officer W. Scott DeLoach and two former underlings also cited in the investigation, Maria Garcia and Rosario Licata, waived indictment Monday in federal court. Their lawyers said they will plead guilty, possibly by the end of the week. The scheme, according to court documents: DeLoach, Garcia and Licata issued company checks to themselves and funneled money from the company's healthcare-benefit fund into secret bank accounts under their control. The trio used the proceeds to ''fund lavish lifestyles,'' according to the documents. DeLoach bought Florida Keys property and luxury sports cars, Garcia acquired an interest in a local restaurant and Licata bought property in Florida and Nicaragua and engaged in ``high-dollar gambling activities.''
www.miami.com / BY PATRICK DANNER AND DAN CHRISTENSEN / Sep. 19, 2006

Elderly Couple Arrested In Casino Scheme Bust
FL - COCONUT CREEK Three suspects were arrested for pulling an alleged scheme at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino that almost took a million dollars worth of prizes.
cbs4.com / CBS News / Ted Scouten / Sep 15, 2006

Crime Stoppers tip leads to arrest in rape of Hard Rock employee
FL - A telephone tip, a determined victim and a bit of luck helped catch a man police say brutally raped a Davie woman last month after following her home from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Ricardo Guillaume, 27, of Miami, is being held without bail on charges of attempted murder and sexual battery after being arrested Sunday night.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / By John Holland / September 5 2006

Casino winner loses to armed robber
FL - Edward Gorso, 48, won $2,000 on July 18 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood. The casino winner woke up on the floor of the motel room with his shorts missing and his money gone.
www.miami.com / Jul. 30, 2006

Thunderbolts: Official Stole Money
FL - The Lakeland ThunderBolts fired General Manager Larry Kiernan on Wednesday, and team owners said Kiernan admitted embezzling money from the professional indoor football team. He had taken about $60,000 from the team because of an addiction to gambling, the report said.
www.theledger.com / The Ledger / By Gabrielle Finley / June 8, 2006

Two Firefighters Accused Of Rape At The Hard Rock
FL - FT. LAUDERDALE Two Margate firefighters, whow are accused of raping a woman at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, are out on bond.
cbs4.com / Joan Murray / May 9, 2006

Abramoff to testify in Florida murder case
FL - In 2001, a man named Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis was ambushed in his car in Fort Lauderdale a few months after Abramoff and Kidan bought some casinos from him.
www.ktvotv3.com / FORT LAUDERDALE / 3-25-06

PSL woman accused of stealing almost $139,000 from employer
FL - PORT ST. LUCIE - Police on Wednesday arrested a local woman accused of stealing about $139,000 from her employer to support a gambling habit, according to reports obtained Thursday.
www.tcpalm.com / By WILL GREENLEE / March 16, 2006

Jury hears testimony on doctor's gambling trips
FL - Luyao's attorney, Joel Hirschhorn, said the evidence is weak and irrelevant to the charges for which she's being tried: six counts of trafficking oxycodone, six counts of manslaughter in the deaths of six patients and one count of racketeering. Prosecutors, though, say it could give the jury a reason she allegedly wanted to keep patients addicted to narcotics so they would continue to pay a cash-only $80 office fee required for monthly refills. - Took 48 trips in 1999, spent a total of $20,800 on gambling chips and lost a total of $2,450. - Took 102 trips in 2000, spent $50,800 on chips and lost a total of $1,300. - Took 137 trips in 2001, spent $94,500 on chips and lost a total of $30,900.
www.palmbeachpost.com / Palm Beach Post / By Sarah Prohaska / February 24, 2006

Prosecutors say gambling habit fueled Luyao's alleged crimes
FL - FORT PIERCE - Dr. Asuncion Luyao was by no means a "high roller," but prosecutors say her frequent trips to a casino cruise ship were a motive behind her alleged crimes. The 64-year-old Port St. Lucie physician is being retried on charges of racketeering, trafficking in oxycodone and manslaughter after a hung jury resulted in a mistrial in her first case in June.
www.tcpalm.com / By DEREK SIMMONSEN / February 23, 2006

High School Teacher and Student Get Chatty in Casino, End Up in the Bedroom
FL - In late summer, 2005, a 17-year-old girl and a 30-year-old high school marketing teacher coincidentally met at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. One thing led to another, and the two, a teacher and student at the very same school, were allegedly swept into a sexual relationship that lasted six months.
www.101-best-online-casinos.com / 1-28-06

Abramoff pleads guilty to bank fraud charges
FL - Abramoff, 46, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges connected to fraudulently obtaining $60 million in loans as part of the deal to buy the SunCruz gambling ships from Konstantino "Gus" Boulis in September 2000.
www.kansascity.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / BY SEAN GARDINER / Jan. 04, 2006

By any name, lobbyists are . . . lobbyists
FL - Before Abramoff ran into trouble for allegedly buying Florida's fleet of SunCruz casino boats with money he didn't have, he tapped into casino proceeds from SunCruz and his Indian tribe clients and sent the money to 210 members of Congress -- from both parties. He directed campaign contributions to his congressional toadies and took them golfing in Scotland. He set their staffers up on SunCruz gambling junkets. He sent casino money to anti-gambling Christian crusaders, knowing that religious principles don't count for much in the new
www.miami.com / Miami Herald / BY FRED GRIMM / Dec. 29, 2005

Businessman pleads no contest to charges
FL - A man accused of torching his Clearwater helicopter business in 1998 after he was suspected of scamming more than $5-million from customers and investors has pleaded no contest to 19 criminal charges. He traveled to Las Vegas to gamble...
www.sptimes.com / Times / By CHRIS TISCH / November 9, 2005

Ex-store employee charged with theft
FL - He allegedly embezzled at least $360,980 from a La-Z-Boy Furniture store... Is accused of writing checks to himself and using a company credit card to withdraw cash at gambling casinos...
www.sun-sentinel.com / Sun-Sentinel / November 4 2005

McCain puts ex-official on hot seat
DC - Abramoff was indicted in Florida earlier this year on federal wire- and mail-fraud charges stemming from his acquisition of a casino-boat chain. He remains under investigation in the District of Columbia by a federal criminal task force.
www.thehill.com / By Josephine Hearn / 11-1-05

$48,000 trip? GOP picks up tab
FL - TALLAHASSEE - The Republican Party of Florida will pay a gambling company $48,000 in hopes of sparing four lawmakers a possible ethics problem after they took a two-day trip to Toronto at the company's expense. The GOP said it will pay $48,000 to Magna Entertainment Corp., which chartered a jet from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport on July 12 and whisked the four lawmakers to its company headquarters in Canada. Magna is eager to install slot machines at Gulfstream, its thoroughbred track in Broward County.
www.sptimes.com / By STEVE BOUSQUET and LUCY MORGAN / October 14, 2005

Con artists use lottery jackpot ruse to bilk elderly Pines woman
FL - Police are asking for help finding two cons who tricked a 74-year-old woman out of a large bundle of money. The thieves convinced the elderly woman that they had a winning lottery ticket that they needed helped cashing.
www.sun-sentinel.com / September 28, 2005

Fort Lauderdale Teen Charged With Killing Teen Over Lottery Ticket
FL - Deputies say a 17-year-old in Fort Lauderdale murdered another teen over a $25 scratch-off lottery ticket.
www.news4jax.com / July 30, 2005

Manager who killed herself tied to $1 million Nassau County theft
FL - A trusted Nassau County financial manager who killed herself was solely responsible for the theft of more than $1 million from the county, apparently spending some of the money on gambling trips, law enforcement officials said Thursday.
www.sun-sentinel.com / The Associated Press / By Ron Word / July 8 2005

Embezzlement is put at over $1 million
FL - A county official stole more than $1 million from the government before she killed herself... She enjoyed taking gambling trips.
www.stltoday.com / U.S. DIGEST / 07/08/2005

Three casino ship guards accused of grand theft, Officials say men stole more than $100,000 from slots
FL - Three security guards aboard the Sterling Casino Lines cruise ship were supposed to be keeping an eye out for burglars while the ship was docked overnight at Port Canaveral. Instead, authorities say, the three men used the graveyard shift for at least five weeks to steal more than $100,000 from slot machines.
www.bradenton.com / Knight Ridder Tribune News Service / PEDRO RUZ GUTIERREZ / Jul. 06, 2005

$100,000 stolen from casino ship
FL - Three Sterling Casino Lines security employees face charges of grand theft, accused of taking more than $100,000 from Sterling using a scheme to break into slot machines.
www.floridatoday.com / FLORIDA TODAY / BY LINDA JUMP / July 5, 2005

Gamblers seek to acquire assets of illegal sports betting operation
FL - Investigators arrested Robitzek, Rodney and 12 other Lee County men in April in what investigators call the largest ring of its kind in Lee County history. The gamblers were told they were paying $500,000 in betting packages for special insider information, the bettors contend in their request for a share of the forfeited cash and property. One bettor, who spent more than $2.3 million on bets at the offshore casinos, already recouped $900,000 in a civil suit, according to court records. But this man, Timothy Bronkhurst of Carlsbad, still wants an additional $1.4 million, court records show.
www.naplesnews.com / By KRISTEN ZAMBO / June 10, 2005

IRS cites problems with use of tribal gaming revenues
FL - The Internal Revenue Service is signaling concerns about the way tribal governments use gaming revenues as a Senate committee on Tuesday opened hearings on tax abuse. The IRS is already scrutinizing tribes for using tax-exempt bonds to finance casino and hotel projects. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has been issued a negative decision affecting a $345 million bond deal for two large casino resorts. Now, the head of the IRS has identified other "problems" in a sector that includes tribes and charities that are normally granted tax exemptions. "We see that tax abuse is increasingly present in the sector, and we intend to address it,"
www.indianz.com / Indianz.Com. / April 6, 2005

Man charged in card-game death
FL - Gadsden County sheriff's investigators charged a Sawdust man late Thursday in this week's killing of another man for his card-game winnings.
www.tallahassee.com / By James L. Rosica / Apr. 02, 2005

Casino Rockin' Along
FL - A year after the Seminoles' casino was reborn with a new complex and new name, the Tampa facility is a financial success for the tribe. However, the economic impact for the Greater Tampa area is harder to assess. The casino complex pays no property or state taxes because it is exempt. It isn't required to pay the hotel tax designed to help local tourism efforts, although it donates a sum as a goodwill gesture. Although the casino has almost quadrupled the number of jobs it offers, most are secondary labor positions that pay middle to low wages typical of the tourism industry. Transition?? Casino jobs usually fall into the secondary labor market because they offer little pay and little long-term opportunities to build careers, said James Gerstein, a research associate at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, who has studied the economic impact of casinos on communities. But it's not all good news for the casinos. In December, the Internal Revenue Service issued a preliminary ruling, saying that $345 million in tax-exempt bonds used to finance the casino projects were not entitled to the exemption. The IRS in February said an additional $124 million in tax- exempt bonds were also being examined. Under federal law, tribes can use tax-exempt bonds only for ``essential governmental functions such as a hospital or a police station.'' The Seminoles did not issue the bonds. Instead, a financial team lead by the Cordish Co. found a way around the provision, the IRS contends.
www.tampatrib.com / By RANDY DIAMOND / Mar 8, 2005

Dozens of felons now working at parimutuels
FL - Among those who already have jobs at the state's dog and horse tracks and jai-alai frontons are dozens of felons whose convictions include manslaughter, racketeering, battery, strong-arm robbery, cocaine trafficking, lewd assault on a minor and illegal gambling. Under Florida law, felons are not permitted to work at gambling facilities but can apply for a waiver from the state's Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. A review of state records going back to 2000 suggests it is not very hard to gain such a waiver.
www.miami.com / JIM DEFEDE / Mar. 03, 2005

Broward labor boss gets 6-year jail term for labor racketeering
FL - A federal judge sentenced disgraced Broward labor leader Walter J. Browne to nearly six years in prison on Friday, ending the career of a smooth negotiator who was one of the county's most influential powerbrokers. The judge expressed sympathy for Devaney, imposing a sentence nearly a year shorter than the recommended term. Her lawyer, Michael Caruso, said during the trial that she became depressed during an abusive marriage, became addicted to alcohol and embezzled money from the union to pay off gambling debts.
www.sun-sentinel.com / By Ann W. O'Neill / February 19 2005

Sheriff: Pair preyed on gamblers
FL - Strapped for cash to repay a gambling debt, a Hernando County man decided to go see Garlic Ray. From all outward appearances, 70-year-old Raymond Krisa seemed a regular guy, But the borrower soon was paying more than $800 per week in interest, or "juice," on his initial $5,000 loan and subsequent loans. In desperation, the unidentified borrower went to authorities for help, setting off a six-month federal and state investigation, "Operation Stingray," that led to breakup of a loan sharking and bookmaking ring. For example, a person who received a $10,000 loan at 3 points paid $300 per week. "Not a nickel went to repaying the debt," Nugent said. If they didn't pay, Krisa implied threats to a borrower's family, such as "letting the dogs loose," Nugent said.
www.sptimes.com / St. Petersburg Times / By DUANE BOURNE / January 12, 2005

Gambino crime family recruiter nears trial in Miami
FL - The Miami trial will include the testimony of several former mobsters who are cooperating with the government. It promises to complete the latest chapter in the decades-old history of South Florida's draw for the mob. The region is considered open territory for mobsters attracted by the beaches, the bars, the horse racing, the gambling and seemingly limitless ways to make an easy buck.
www.kansascity.com / BY ANN W. O'NEILL / Jan. 10, 2005

Bank heist suspect fingered at poker table was Hollywood man
FL - A Hollywood man was willing to bet that he got away with robbing a bank, but his luck ran out at the poker table. Investigators said Mark Cherico was arrested minutes after he robbed a Washington Mutual, shed a layer of clothes in a parking lot and headed across the street to Dania Jai-Alai for a few hands of poker Saturday.
www.miami.com / Miami Herald / BY HANNAH SAMPSON / Dec. 22, 2004

Tampa man linked to crime family
FL - TAMPA - In a case that recalled Tampa's underworld past, federal authorities announced Tuesday the arrest of six men accused in a conspiracy involving murder, robbery, extortion and the Gambino crime family. The six men listed in the charges include the grandson of a Tampa man once convicted of involvement in the city's illegal gambling rackets. The conspiracy involved a broad range of criminal acts, including armed robbery of individuals and businesses, armed home invasions, drug trafficking, extortion and the collection of unlawful gambling debts, the indictment said.
www.sptimes.com / Times / By SAUNDRA AMRHEIN / December 1, 2004

Suit claims invalid signatures tainted Fla. gambling petitions
FL - Several groups, including No Casinos, Inc., are contemplating lawsuits against the election results. After trailing by narrow margins for two days, the "yes" votes suddenly vaulted to a 93,000-vote victory on Nov. 4. Most of the 93,000-vote margin is attributed to a reported undercount of absentee ballots in Broward County. Of 78,000 absentees, 74,000 reportedly favored the initiative. "It certainly is an interesting coincidence that Miami-Dade and Broward counties count absentees after the deadline and suddenly find a 90,000 vote swing in their favor," said Paul Seago, executive director of No Casinos... Among the suit's claims: The names of 33 dead people were included in documents submitted to place the issue before the voters. After the pro-gambling Floridians for a Level Playing Field group (also named as a defendant) submitted signed petitions on July 23, the plaintiffs say a New York research firm conducted an extensive survey and found: -- Of nearly 5,300 people they reached by phone, more than 3,500, or 68 percent, "stated unequivocally" that they did not sign any petition in support of the slots initiative. The lawsuit notes that more than 488,000 valid signatures were required to place the constitutional amendment on the ballot. Although FLPF submitted nearly 527,000 signatures, the suit says because of invalid signatures the group failed to meet the legal requirements. Also cited in the lawsuit are June 29-30 reports in the Pensacola News Journal that ARNO employees had been charged with forgery in other, past elections for allegedly collecting valid signatures on one petition and transferring them to another.
www.sbcbaptistpress.org / By Ken Walker / Nov 10, 2004

Gangster Sentenced To Life In Prison
OK - Former Boston mob boss Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi was sentenced to life in prison... Authorities say Wheeler suspected that Flemmi, Bulger and former FBI agent H. Paul Rico were skimming gambling profits from his World Jai Alai business in Miami, Fla. In court Thursday, Flemmi admitted helping plan the killing and aiding trigger man John Martorano, who pleaded guilty in May 2001. Rico was arrested Oct. 9 at his Florida home and extradited to Oklahoma on a murder charge for helping Flemmi, Bulger and Martorano plan Wheeler's killing.
www.thebostonchannel.com / The Associated Press / September 30, 2004

Two Bodies Found in Florida Casino
FL - "Housekeepers found the bodies of two people inside a hotel room at Hollywood Casino...
www.casinocitytimes.com / 7 July 2004

Not so 'friendly' Judge hands bank robber 20 years
FL - Circuit Judge David B. Eddy sentenced Mark Anthony King, who was convicted last month on six counts for a string of bank robberies throughout Florida, to 20 years in prison. King admitted robbing six banks in Central Florida between October 2000 and March 2001. But he blamed a gambling addiction for the robberies...
www.starbanner.com / BY RICK CUNDIFF / June 25. 2004

Elderly Woman Loses $10,000 In Lottery Scam
FL - Tampa, Florida Police are looking for a man and woman involved in scamming an elderly woman out of $10,000 by convincing her they held a winning lottery ticket.
www.lotterypost.com / April 09, 2004

Casino-boat fugitive could be hiding here
FL - A lot of folks, including the FBI, are deeply concerned about the whereabouts of Stanley Tollman. Maybe they should look in South Florida, where he had lobbyists on the payroll, politicians in his pocket and cozy connections in county government. Alpha's gambling enterprises (Tollman's company) had already sailed into problems in other states before they were given dockage and a sweet deal at Haulover. In 1995, the Indiana Gambling Commission, noting Alpha's debts, lawsuits, unpaid taxes and a ''slippery eel'' evasiveness, refused to allow the company to operate on Indiana waters. In 1996, the Mississippi Gambling Commission raided and padlocked an Alpha casino boat operation. On Feb. 4 in New York, four former Alpha top executives were convicted of fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and lying to banks. But he (mayor) found this casino deal, dependent on Alpha's good-faith bookkeeping, an utter sham. ''Florida doesn't regulate these operations. There's no auditing. No revenue agents to check the books,'' Novack said. Angelo Giordano was booked into the Lee County Jail after scamming $1.6 million from investors in his would-be casino boat deal with the city of Fort Myers.
The Miami Herald / Fred Grimm / Feb. 15, 2004

Broward detention deputy fired; pawned gun for gambling cash
FL - A Broward County detention deputy was fired after an investigation showed she pawned her service revolver to help cover gambling debts, officials said.
www.miami.com / Associated Press / Jan. 22, 2004

MONEY LAUNDERING PROBES: Park Place involved in inquiry
Fl - Park Place Entertainment Corp. and its flagship Las Vegas resort have been involved in two recent money laundering investigations, one in Japan and another in Florida. Susumu Kajiyama, the so-called "Emperor of Loan Sharks" in Japan who was arrested Thursday and charged with organized crimes involving leading Las Vegas casinos, maintained accounts with Caesars Palace's foreign agent in Tokyo, Park Place last week was also involved in an Orlando, Fla., grand jury investigation into money laundering that Stewart said was unrelated to the Japanese case. Meanwhile, Kajiyama's minions would circulate throughout the casinos cashing in the chips in piles of $2,000 or less each, investigators say.
www.reviewjournal.com / Las Vegas Review-Journal / By ROD SMITH / November 18, 2003

Man pleads guilty to bilking casino boat investors
FL - A man pleaded guilty to scamming casino boat investors and a bank out of more than $2.1 million.
www.heraldtribune.com / The Associated Press / October 28. 2003

Gambling empire gifts investigated
FL - A federal grand jury is poring over the finances of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, placing the $300-million-a-year gambling empire under intense scrutiny for alleged nonpayment of taxes. The punishment for not paying taxes varies depending on whether it is a criminal or civil issue, Dobzinski said. ''If one is found guilty of tax fraud, there could be substantial taxes, penalties and interest that would need to be paid,'' he said, later adding that jail time is also possible.
www.miami.com / BY JERRY BERRIOS / Sep. 20, 2003

IRS targets Seminoles for not paying taxes on $120 million in gifts
FL - The Internal Revenue Service and the grand jury have been looking at about $120 million worth of gifts Seminole leaders gave to friends, relatives and other tribal members. Tribal leaders admittedly paid little or none of the federally required taxes on the gifts, which included luxury cars and cosmetic surgery. At the same time, three federal agencies are raising questions about the tribe's 1999 contract to build its Coconut Creek casino, a deal regulators said is so lopsided against the Seminoles it might not be legal.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / By John Holland / September 18 2003

Fla. scammer sentenced to 5 years in prison
FL - A notorious scammer and sometimes lawyer involved in questionable Orlando-area financial deals for a decade was sentenced in a Wisconsin court Friday to five years in prison for his role in a felony gambling and money-laundering conspiracy. The crimes for which Tedder was sentenced on Friday are connected to an Internet-gambling company for which he laundered $10.7 million through bank accounts in Ireland, the Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United States. He was convicted in June after having been held without bail since his arrest in Chicago last October.
www.centredaily.com / The Orlando Sentinel / BY BARRY FLYNN / Aug. 24, 2003

Trainer accused of doping greyhound has license restored
FL - A Bonita Springs greyhound trainer accused of failing to prevent a dog from ingesting a cocaine derivative before a race had his license restored last month, angering greyhound protection advocates.
Naples Daily News / By KRISTEN ZAMBO / August 21, 2003

Developer behind project built fortune with controversy
FL - In 1996, Fears purchased a $1.7 million parcel in Coconut Creek, Fla., and donated it to the Seminole Tribe to build what is now a successful casino, according to the St. Petersburg Times. A new set of partners came in and worked out a deal with the tribe to build the casino: The tribe would pay the shareholders 35 percent of its revenue over a decade. But officials at the National Indian Gaming Commission, which regulates Indian casinos, said the arrangement was "a bad deal" for the tribe - so much so that it violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
www.vvdailypress.com / Daily Press / By CHRISTINA L. ESPARZA / August 20, 2003

Bookmaker gets probation in McPherson gambling case
FL - A Tallahassee bartender charged with felony bookmaking in the gambling investigation of former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson was placed on probation Friday when he pleaded no contest to four misdemeanor gambling charges. Former Florida State football team equipment manager Jeffrey Inderhees was also charged with one felony count of bookmaking, but his case has not yet gone to trial.
www.sun-sentinel.com / Associated Press / August 22 2003

Office Depot worker held in theft of $64,000 in computers
FL - An Office Depot employee arrested Tuesday on charges of stealing thousands of dollars of computer equipment told police he was selling the items to support a gambling problem, according to police reports.
www.tcpalm.com / The Sun-Sentinel / By Nancy L. Oth?n / August 7, 2003

Florida State QB pleads no contest
FL - Former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson pleaded no contest yesterday to gambling and theft charges...
Columbia Daily Tribune / July 3, 2003

6 indicted in filing of false IRS reports at Hollywood Greyhound Track
FL - Five Hollywood Greyhound Track employees and a customer were indicted Thursday on charges of filing false IRS reports on $2.4 million in gambling proceedings. All are charged with conspiracy to defraud the IRS, and individual charges range from assisting in the preparation of false tax forms to witness tampering.
www.sun-sentinel.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / By Lisa J. Huriash / May 9 2003

Tribe's casino built without red tape
FL - The tribe expects that professional gaming management will erase a legacy of scandal at the Tampa casino. Three casino employees were indicted in a bingo-fixing conspiracy in 1991. Three years ago, the National Indian Gaming Commission fined the tribe $3-million for an illegal contract it had with Pan American & Associates, the management team that oversaw the Tampa bingo hall.
St. Petersburg Times / By JEFF TESTERMAN / February 5, 2003

Casino boat owner dogged by past
FL - Widely covered by Florida media, the SunCruz story reads at times like a crime novel. It is readily available on the Internet. Kidan partnered with friends from the College Republicans at George Washington University in the 1980s -- well-known Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Ben Waldman, who had worked in the White House during the Reagan years. According to published accounts, the problems were manifest in a flurry of lawsuits filed shortly after the deal. Boulis accused the new owners of not making good on money they had promised. The partners cited problems with the business that Boulis had not disclosed. The turning point came on Feb. 6, 2001, when Boulis was murdered outside his Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office. According to newspaper accounts, he was shot several times in what was described as a gangland-style hit. The case, at one point featured on the television show "America's Most Wanted," remains unsolved.
Gloucester Daily Times / By DAVID JOYNER / October 26-27, 2002

Lawsuit gives peek into casino's profit, Tribe collects $5.1M monthly
FL - The Coconut Creek Casino has been a moneymaking machine for the Seminole Tribe, generating an average of $5.1 million in monthly net revenues in the first half of this year. ''Casino gaming is a license to print money,'' said Kevin Washburn, an assistant professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School. ``It's a fabulously profitable business.'' The agreement was signed four months later by tribe Chairman James Billie, who was suspended last year by the Tribal Council after it began to investigate the tribe's finances. The tribe's business manager and two of his colleagues were indicted in June on charges they stole millions from the tribe. As part of its suit, Coconut Creek Gaming has accused the tribe of inflating the casino's expenses to cause net revenues -- and thus the incentive rent payments -- to be lower than what they should been.
Miami Herald / BY PATRICK DANNER / Oct. 24, 2002

3 accused of diverting tribe funds
FL - TAMPA -- The Seminole Tribe's former operations manager and two business partners have been charged in a 15-count federal indictment with conspiracy to embezzle $2.77-million from the tribe and with using a shell company to launder the money through Belize.
St. Petersburg Times / By JEFF TESTERMAN / June 25, 2002

Recuperating from an attempt on his life, Jim Shore says he won't live life scared. Suspects outnumber leads.
FL - Some Seminole Indians say Jim Shore, the blind son of a medicine man, must have had strong medicine on his side to survive an assassination attempt three months ago. He was shot three times. Seminole Chairman James E. Billie, a target of the federal grand jury inquiry. Shore's counsel led to the firing of a number of Billie's cronies and to the filing of lawsuits accusing Billie and his former administrator of defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars.
St. Petersburg Times / By JEFF TESTERMAN / April 25, 2002
Bookkeeper with gambling habit arrested over missing $190,000
FL - POMPANO BEACH - Detectives on Friday said they have jailed a Fort Lauderdale woman who they say stole more than $190,000 from her boss to feed a gambling addiction. Carone said all of the stolen money was lost at casinos or on gambling ships...
Sun-Sentinel News / March 22 2002

Jersey man paid $30G by SunCruz, Police seek him for questioning
FL - Police want to interview a New Jersey man with a penchant for bragging about his Mafia connections who received $30,000 from SunCruz Casinos weeks before company founder Gus Boulis was murdered Feb. 6 in a gangland-style shooting. The man, whom police refuse to identify, navigated the South Beach scene in chauffeured limousines with large bodyguards in tow, sporting flashy eyewear and jewelry, and boasting that he was the nephew of jailed Gambino boss John Gotti.
Miami Herald / BY LARRY LEBOWITZ / July 19, 2001

State: Court upholds gambling fine
FL - A federal appeals court has upheld a $3.4-million fine against a company that operated the Seminole Tribe of Florida's Hollywood casino. The company operated the facility without the approval of the federal agency that regulates gambling on American Indian reservations. The fine is the largest ever levied by the National Indian Gaming Commission. The gaming commission's record fine against JPW Consultants is based on a management contract the tribe signed with Weisman after investors in his other company, Seminole Management Associates, failed background checks. Last year, the NIGC fined the tribe $3-million for failing to get the NIGC's approval of a management contract at its Immokalee casino in Collier County.
St. Petersburg Times / By JEFF TESTERMAN / April 25, 2001

Tribe, casino operator split
FL - In the meantime, a task force of agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Treasury Department continues to investigate Seminole gaming activities. The investigation led last year to the federal indictment of Lauderhill cigar importer Steve Weil, Tamarac lawyer Yale Garber and two other men on money laundering charges. They were accused of conspiring to launder $425,000 in cash purported to be the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking.
www.sptimes.com / St. Petersburg Times / By JEFF TESTERMAN / May 27, 2000

Drug Money Laundered
FL - Florida - A task force of agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Treasury Department continues to investigate Seminole gaming activities. The investigation led last year to the federal indictment of Lauderhill cigar importer Steve Weil, Tamarac lawyer Yale Garber and two other men on money laundering charges. They were accused of conspiring to launder $425,000 in cash purported to be the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking.
St. Petersberg Times / May 27, 2000

Not admitting to a crime was their mistake
FL - If he were Bill Gates or Donald Trump, it would be easy to believe that former House Speaker Bo Johnson just overlooked $500,000 in extra income he got from companies wanting favors from the state. Or that he claimed an extra $250,000 in deductions that were not legitimate. He will spend 24 months behind bars. She (wife) will be locked up in a separate prison for 15 months. The Johnsons might have considered those young lives a few years ago when they were collecting huge payments from casino owners Bally Enterprises...
St. Petersburg Times / By LUCY MORGAN / July 31, 1999

Former Florida speaker gets two years in prison, wife gets 15 months
FL - PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- A former Florida House speaker was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday for tax evasion, and his wife got 15 months for the same. The income the Johnsons failed to report was paid by interests that included casino gambling, transportation, road building and health care businesses.
The Associated Press / By BILL KACZOR / 07/27/99

Ex-House speaker quits lobbying job, vows to fight tax charges
FL - PENSACOLA -- (AP) -- Former Florida House Speaker Bolley ``Bo'' Johnson plans to fight tax-evasion and extortion charges, said an official who accepted his resignation Friday as a lobbyist for Escambia County. A federal indictment unsealed Thursday accused Johnson, 47, and his wife, Judi, 48, of conspiracy and failing to report more than $500,000 of gross income. Johnson also was charged with coercing $15,000 in kickbacks from an aide who worked on his 1992 reelection campaign. The largest payment was $170,000 Johnson received from the former Bally Casino Holdings, now Park Place Entertainment Corp., based in Las Vegas. He had been hired as a real-estate consultant, according to a report last year by New Jersey casino regulators.
Miami Herald / February 20, 1999