Latest News
3/13/07 TO 3/23/07

Caretaker' bilked elderly millionaire, feds say
Kansas City --- A one-time taxi driver (Cohn) who befriended a wealthy antiques dealer must remain jailed before his trial on charges of swindling the elderly man out of more than $600,000, a federal judge ruled. Hospitalized after a fall in June 2003, Coombs entered a long-term care facility. . . The next year, Cohn moved Coombs out of the care center and into the basement bedroom of a home. . . Cohn's lifestyle improved steadily as Coombs signed documents naming Cohn as the beneficiary of his will. . .

Cab driver held in swindle of wealthy antiques dealer
Prosecutors say running errands turned to bank and mail fraud totaling more than $600,000.

Ringling Dan Cohn drove a Kansas City taxi and owned little more than a 1986 conviction for armed robbery in Illinois. Federal prosecutors now allege that Cohn took charge of Griffith Coombs' assets and swindled him out of more than $600,000 before his death in 2005 at age 87. Kansas City Police Detective Deb Panuco testified that Cohn and his girlfriend, Patricia Foreman, had lost more than $150,000 gambling at local casinos.
3/21/07 The Kansas City Star

Man who served prison time for scam gets more for another
David Schultz enticed people in the 1990s with an offer to share big money he said he had coming in exchange for some cash to tide him over for taxes or other expenses. It was a lie that cost victims in the St. Louis area over $860,000 and resulted in a 51-month federal prison sentence. Schultz used the ill-gotten money he scammed to gamble in hopes of winning more money for his debts, Fein said. ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH 3/21/07

Ameristar sued over rewards card
--- Seven gamblers sued Ameristar Casino of St. Charles on Tuesday, saying the casino cheated them out of money, food and other perks they could have earned in the casino's rewards program. The suit alleges that around Aug. 1, the casino changed its program so that a customer would have to spend $8 to $16 on a video poker machine to earn one point, which was at least twice to four times the amount needed to earn one point before that date. The casino did''t tell customers about this change, the suit says. ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH 3/21/07

Class action suit against Ameristar seeks $150M
Ameristar issued this statement concerning the suit: "Mr. Muegler's claims have no merit, and there is no basis for a class action. . . .we firmly believe the case to be completely frivolous.
St. Louis Business Journal - 3/ 20/07

Bond issue may be tough sell
CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. -- The brick exterior of Caruthersville High School gives a solid impression, an imposing three-story structure that dominates a block in the southern part of town. But the facade hides most of the severe damage inflicted April 2 when a tornado tore through this Bootheel town. In addition, lawmakers from the area are working to secure a $5 million loan or grant from Missouri Lottery proceeds. 3/18/07

Casino Money Five Years Later
In Missouri, there is a loss limit, which says you can only lose $500 every two hours. Missouri is currently the only state to have this limit and lawmakers are trying to do away it. McNary (MO Gaming Commission Executive Director) says the projected millions made from eliminating the loss limit would be used for education. And McNary likes the odds of getting rid of the loss limit. 3/16/07

St. Joe woman tapped for post on gaming board
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Matt Blunt has appointed a St. Joseph woman to the Missouri Gaming Commission - possibly the first regional representative for the post. The governor selected Suzanne Bradley, 57, the wife of News-Press publisher David Bradley, to fill the vacancy of Ralph Biele, whose term ends on April 29. 3/16/07

Lemay road deal awaits Bush's pen
A property switch to enable construction of a new four-lane road in Lemay --- which backers say will help emergency personnel and create access to a new casino (Pinnacle) --- now awaits the signature of President George W. Bush. 3/16/07

GAMBLING: Isle of Capri faces delisting from Nasdaq
Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. said the Nasdaq stock market has started the delisting process for its stock . . . 3/16/07

Pinnacle under fire again over minorities
Nearly halfway through construction of a downtown St. Louis casino, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. is facing more criticism and threats over its efforts to include minority contractors. The latest salvo was fired by freshman state Rep. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, who this week asked state gambling regulators to investigate efforts by Las Vegas-based Pinnacle to involve minorities in the $475 million project.
Long before starting construction, Pinnacle adopted the city's goal that at least 25 percent of the work would be done by minority-owned companies. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 3/15/07

Winter weather puts a chill on local casino revenue
Frigid February flattened casino revenues in Kansas City and elsewhere around the state and the nation. The Missouri Gaming Commission reported local casinos' take from gamblers dropped 0.5 percent, to $59.6 million, from February last year. Statewide, Missouri's 11 floating gambling parlors' winnings slipped 1.3 percent, to $132 million. The Kansas City Star

Details emerge on murder for hire plot
Then-inmate testifies Sharp agreed to pay $12,000 to kill alleged rape victim

Mr. Sharp, 40, faces a felony charge of conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly trying to hire a fellow inmate at the Buchanan County Jail to kill a woman who Mr. Sharp is accused of raping. Mr. Sharp faces a felony rape charge for allegedly following a Terrible's St. Jo Frontier Casino employee to her home, where he allegedly beat and raped her in June 2006. 3/14/O7

At casino, Mo. trooper loses his cruiser
About 3 a.m., somebody managed to steal the unmarked cruiser -- (at the President casino) which was loaded with a police shotgun, plus handcuffs, bulletproof vests and other police equipment. ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH 3/13/07