Latest News
10/18/09 to 10/24/09

National Gambling Crimes

Accountant admits embezzling $3.6 million from Pasadena firm

CA - She used the stolen funds to live well -- buying a luxury home, expensive vehicles and jewelry and taking many gambling trips Las Vegas, / HOUSTON CHRONICLE / By MARY FLOOD / Oct. 19, 2009

Arrest made in weekend robbery of man, 86, at Remington Park in Oklahoma City

OK - Police arrested Madarryle Smiley, 48, in connection with the violent robbery of an 86-year-old man this weekend... He told police he walked out of the casino and was getting in his car when a man approached him, hit him in the head and stole his wallet and car. / October 19, 2009

Charges: Knights Of Columbus Worker Embezzled $60K

MN - An employee for the Knights of Columbus has been charged with embezzling $64,000 from her employer over the course of a year and a half. She admitted to Bloomington Police that she had forged checks to make house payments and to support her gambling addiction. / Oct 19, 2009

Compulsive gambling: 'Oregon's dirty little secret' strikes again

OR - This week brought two such stories, actually -- one about a Canby woman who stole from her employer, a Tigard furniture store, and another about a Klamath Falls woman who stole from her employer, a roofing and siding company. The two cases are unrelated except for one all-too-familiar common thread: both women embezzled to feed their compulsive gambling habits. Klingman, Admitted stealing $519,149 from the store... Orndoff... Was stealing from her employer, Linkville Roofing and Siding. Unlike drug addicts or alcoholics, you can't spot a problem gambler at the office. You can't smell their problem on their breath or see it in their bloodshot eyes. A study done for the DHS in 2006 concluded that Oregon has about 74,000 of them (problem gamblers)-- the equivalent of a city the size of Bend or Medford. That's a lot of tortured souls to sacrifice so the rest of us can enjoy lower taxes and an occasional video game. / The Oregonian / By Doug Bates / October 18, 2009

Ex-Herkimer police investigator to stand trial Monday

NY - A former Herkimer police investigator is due to begin trial in Herkimer County Court next week on allegations that he stole thousands of dollars from the police station's evidence room to gamble. He told them he believed he would be able to replace the stolen funds with money he won by gambling. / Observer-Dispatch / By ROCCO LaDUCA / Oct 19, 2009

Federal Online Gambling Inquiry Grabs Processor E-Mail

- The latest move by the federal investigation into online gambling bank accounts is the seizure of e-mails to and from Electracash, one of the payment-processing companies whose bank accounts were taken by authorities in July. According to reports by the Baltimore City Paper, new warrants have been issued for the e-mails, as officials look for damning statements concerning gambling. / by Matt Miller / October 22, 2009

Fla. House speaker wants Seminole casinos shut until pact reached

FL - Raising the ante in negotiations with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, House Speaker Larry Cretul asked the federal government today to shut down tribal casinos until the Seminoles reach a gambling compact with the state. The speaker said the Seminoles expanded Las Vegas-style card games and slot machine gambling to all seven of their Florida casinos, in violation of federal law and a state Supreme Court ruling. He said profits from those operations are "a disincentive to enter into a compact" with the state. Cretul said Skibine has authority to fine the casinos $25,000 oper violation and order them closed for "substantial violations" under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. / Florida Capital Bureau / By Bill Cotterell / October 21, 2009

Former Blagojevich chief of staff pleads guilty

IL - A former top aide to ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich pleaded guilty to wire fraud Tuesday and promised to cooperate with prosecutors in the case involving the former governor in exchange for a lenient sentence. Alonzo "Lon" Monk, 51, Blagojevich's one-time chief of staff, admitted that he schemed to shake down a racetrack owner for a $100,000 campaign contribution in exchange for the governor's signature on a bill to help subsidize tracks. Monk was charged in just one count _ helping Blagojevich squeeze racetrack owner John Johnston for a $100,000 campaign contribution in return for signing a bill that taxes casinos to subsidize the tracks. / ASSOCIATED PRESS / BY MIKE ROBINSON / 10/20/2009

Former Middleboro official warns of 'seedier casino'

MA - That is a dramatic difference from the luxury hotel, restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and conference center that were pitched to Town Meeting in July 2007. The latest proposal is a "small gin mill with buffet food," Bond said, and not the $1 billion resort promoted as a challenger to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. In June, the Times reported that investors asked the tribal council to recertify their development deal, something the council unanimously refused to do because the deal is three times richer for investors as it is for the Wampanoag. Instead, the tribe asked investors to renegotiate. The deal with investors had been negotiated by former Chairman Glenn Marshall, who resigned in disgrace in 2007 and went to federal prison for embezzling funds earlier this year. / By GEORGE BRENNAN / October 21, 2009

Former teacher Mark Gurniak sentenced to four years for Minoa bank robbery

NY - He admitted being armed with a 12-gauge shotgun when he robbed the Chase Bank in Minoa of about $20,000... She (Assistant DA) noted that despite the fact he was desperate over substantial gambling debts <> , there was no justification for him walking out of school in the middle of the day and robbing the bank at gunpoint. A gambling addiction clouded his judgment and led him to rob the bank, the lawyer said. / The Post-Standard / By Jim O'Hara / October 20, 2009

Gambling priest's guilty plea spurs prayers

NY - Parishioners at Our Lady of Sorrows Church on Wednesday responded with promises of prayer the day after their former pastor, the Rev. Patrick Dunne, admitted to gambling away $432,000 in church funds. Dunne, who is being treated for a gambling addiction, also will have to perform community service and repay the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York's insurance company, which reimbursed the Mamaroneck Avenue church for the missing funds. / By Rebecca Baker / October 22, 2009

House declares impasse in gambling pact, asks feds to shut down tribe's casinos

FL - / October 21, 2009

In down economy, crimes against casinos are up

NV - The state's casino cops have been busy. Agents arrested a man in July for allegedly exploiting a glitch that allowed him to multiply the money he inserted into slot machines and cash out with 10 times that amount. Board agents arrested four casino supervisors... Suspected of pocketing winnings... Agents arrested a ticket writer at the Caesars Palace... For allegedly stealing chips used to pay for bets... Craps dealer... Pocketing $1,000 in chips... Manager who was allegedly embezzling money from a small company that provides slot machines... Gaming board agents have made nearly 400 arrests in connection with casino and gambling-related crimes in Nevada this year, Techno-thieves have discovered glitches by buying slot machines under false pretenses and reverse engineering them. A recent slot scam... Involved men who posed as high rollers and persuaded a slot technician to tinker with the machine, / By Liz Benston / Oct. 19, 2009

League of Women Voters appeals tossed conspiracy suit

PA - A federal judge erred in dismissing an amended League of Women Voters lawsuit that claimed the Pennsylvania Supreme Court conspired with lawmakers to trade favorable decisions for pay raises, the league says in an appeal. The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, which also claims Chief U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane should have allowed it to file another amended suit, is asking the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the dismissal. The suit said the league ''discovered'' in May 2006 that an unidentified state senator alleged that one or more members of the Supreme Court made the slots-for-pay raise deal with unidentified legislative leaders and Rendell. / / By Matt Birkbeck / October 21, 2009

Major Offshore Online Gambling Operation Busted In New York

NY - Online gambling, especially when it comes to sports wagering, has become one of the biggest industries in the world. The only problem in the US is that it is illegal, The Genovese and Gambino crime families both took a hit Wednesday when authorities announced that twenty-seven people were arrested in the online gambling bust. / / By Terry Goodwin / October 22, 2009

Man gets 26 to 90 years in Vegas casino shooting

NV - A 53-year-old unemployed house painter apologized to his victims before he was sentenced Monday to 26 to 90 years in prison for opening fire with a handgun and wounding four people in a Las Vegas Strip casino more than two years ago. A jury found him guilty last July of 51 of 52 felony charges - including a charge of attempted murder with a deadly weapon for each of the 16 shots he fired. "He went in there wanting to kill 200 some-odd people," Tears flowed as the most seriously injured in the attack, Carrie Zeravica, 26, of North Huntington, Pa., told Barker on Monday that ongoing pain and residual nerve damage in her left leg ruined her dreams of becoming a dance teacher. / Associated Press / By KEN RITTER / Oct. 19, 2009

Navy senior chief who allowed gambling, prostitutes will be forced to retire

- A Navy senior chief will be removed from his current post as a dog handler with a SEAL unit and forced into retirement as punishment... Gambling, fraternization and socializing with prostitutes were also common... / Mark Nero / October 21

No deal: Judge denies bail reduction for woman who allegedly stole 73-year-old woman's savings

CT - Curtis reportedly admitted to police that while she served as a conservator for a 73-year-old Goshen woman, she liberally used the woman's bank accounts to pay her own bills and fund a lifestyle that included drugs and gambling. / By TRACY KENNEDY / October 18, 2009

Pastor admits to swindling $432G from White Plains church

NY - The Rev. Patrick Dunne could have been sent to state prison for 15 years had he been convicted at trial for stealing $432,000 from his church in White Plains. Instead, he agreed to a plea bargain... Dunne has completed an inpatient-treatment program for his gambling addiction and is undergoing outpatient treatment. / Lower Hudson Journal / By Rebecca Baker / October 21, 2009

Stamford man awaits final bank robbery warrant

CT - A city man facing charges in a dozen bank robberies had a drug and gambling problem and gave a lengthy confession to police, Moschos and Davis worked together trying to rob about a dozen banks throughout lower Fairfield County during the summer, police have said. They alternately went in the bank while the other waited outside in Moschos' black BMW, police have said. / By Monica Potts / 10/19/2009

Suspect Arrested for Robbing Dover Downs Employee

DE - Authorities have arrested a man accused of robbing a Dover Downs Casino employee at gunpoint... Stevens stole an undisclosed amount of cash, a cell phone, and the employee's Dover Downs ID badge from his person. Stevens then ran into the parking lot and then went back into the casino. / Oct 19, 2009

Trusted bookkeeper stole more than $700,000, sentenced to prison

OH - For close to a decade, Constance S. Anthony was siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars away from Associated Visual Communications, a Canton printing business. The company, which does banners, digital and screen printing work, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2007. It emerged last year, but AVC and its workers "will be paying for the problems for years to come." His client is remorseful and would repay the money if she could, he said. He declined to comment on Anthony's gambling. / / By Dave Sereno / Oct 20, 2009

Video Gambling Raid Nets Fourteen Arrests In Chamblee, Georgia

GA - Video gambling machines have become a popular fixture in convenience stores and gas stations around the US. While many of these operations are legal, some are paying out cash prizes, which makes their existence illegal. Authorities raided four different locations and arrested fourteen people in conjunction with illegal video gambling machine operations. Twelve are facing felony commercial gambling charges. / / By Terry Goodwin / October 19, 2009

Woman Shot at Legal Gambling Cafe

FL - A woman died after a gun accidentally discharged at a legal computer gambling cafe on Normandy Boulevard. / Taren*Reed and Ann Butler / 10/19/2009

International Gambling Crimes

Betting machines ripped my life apart, says mum

UK - A mother has told the BBC how her life was destroyed by quick-fire betting machines that she calls the heroin  of gambling. She was sent to prison for shoplifting offences that she had committed to fund her habit and her children were taken into care. Rules limiting their use were watered down when the Government passed the Gambling Act 2005. Since the law was weakened charities that help gambling addicts have seen an increase in cases. A report by the Government s Gambling Commission estimated that 7.4 per cent of online gamers go on to develop an addiction to betting. ...with one in 20 young people classified as having a gambling problem. / 20 October 2009

Civic Platform taking money from gambling industry?

Poland - In a new twist to the so-called Blackjack affair, the deposed head of Civic Platform s parliamentary party, Zbigniew Chlebowski (right) has been accused of receiving money from the gambling industry to cover his election campaign expenses. Chlebowski resigned last month as head of Civic Platform s parliamentary party after it was alleged that he had lobbied ministers on behalf of the betting industry to change legislation which would have put an extra tax on the gambling... / 22.10.2009

Collins gets 16 months

Canada - she would spend 16 months in prison for her part in welfare fraud

Collins, wife of now Fort William First Nations chief Peter Collins,...She is also expected to deal with her gambling addiction during that probation period. Collins, 51, had been involved in a fraud scheme that involved the Ontario Works program on the Fort William First Nation. / By Jeff Labine / October 20, 2009

Ex-lawyer gets 4 years in prison for stealing from clients

Nova Scotia - Disbarred Halifax lawyer Srinivasen Pillay was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for stealing more than $1.3 million from clients' trust funds. Mr. Pillay used much of the money to feed a gambling problem,... / Bu Steve Bruce / Oct 19, 09

Ottawa County woman accused of embezzling from parents

Canada - Eloise Russo is accused of taking the money to pay for gambling losses, a $10,000 gift and a $16,000 new car for her sister. Russo was appointed guardian to her father (90) and her 83-year-old mother, / 10-19-09

Ousted Philippines leader announces election bid

Philippines - Ousted Philippines leader Joseph Estrada, convicted of plunder and later pardoned, publicly declared Wednesday his intention to run in next year's presidential elections... Despite his ouster, conviction and detention, Estrada steadfastly denied the charges of plundering Philippine coffers through kickbacks and illegal gambling payoffs. He was elected senator in 1987, then vice president in 1992 despite a life of boozing, gambling and womanizing... / By JIM GOMEZ / AP / Oct. 21, 2009

Smuggled gun used in double-homicide

Canada - A gun allegedly used in two Ottawa homicides in 2007 was smuggled hundreds of kilometres from a rural corner of Maine into Canada. Sears was what police call a "straw purchaser"  a front man who buys guns for a smuggler. The smuggler then took the weapons across the U.S. border. "I thought I'd get lots of money," Sears said. "I ended up getting screwed. But I had a gambling habit at the time and that's how I spent the money. I spent it all gambling."

<> / CBC News / October 19, 2009

Thief escapes with the keys to Casino

Australia - After robbing the Casino Golf Club last Thursday, an armed thief stole a security company's car with the keys to almost all the businesses in town inside. I know the locksmiths won't be happy with the reason, but being hired to change most of the locks in town has to be good for their business. / 20th October 2009