Crime: Gambling addict jailed after ripping off fellow worshipper for $2.7 million

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Jun/12/2022 takes a look at the top stories in the world of gambling and sports-related crime.


(Sunday, June 12, 2022) - Gambling addict jailed after ripping off fellow worshipper for $2.7 million - A 42-year-old man who defrauded a fellow member of a Perth religious community out of $2.7 million and gambled most of it away has been sentenced to six years and nine months in jail.  Munir Muzafar Fakhrud Hassanali was convicted of 82 fraud cases.  Hassanali and the victim belong to a relgious community that offered loans to its members with no interest. The court was told the victim, as an act of kindness, agreed to guarantee a $30,000 loan, leading to Hassanali then targeting him over the next two years to defraud him of his entire life savings.  - ABC

(Tuesday, May 31, 2022) - Four Men and Two Women Arrested for Gambling Den Debt Murder Case - Police arrested four men and two women, aged between 20 and 37 on Friday and Saturday, who were in suspected connection with the murder case happened in Mong Kok, in which a 46-year-old man died.  A 59-year-old woman suffered head injuries during the attack. Sustaining multiple stab wounds, the man was rushed to hospital in unconscious state and was certified dead.   After investigation, Police arrested four men and one woman as well as a 34-year-old woman for assisting offenders in Sham Shui Po, Mong Kok and Hong Kong International Airport.  More arrests are possible.

(Thursday, May 26, 2022) - Man who mugged 73-year-old woman who had just won €23,000 in a casino to be sentenced - A man who mugged a 73-year-old woman who had just won €23,000 in a Dublin city centre casino has been remanded in custody pending sentence.

Iancu Nicola, 30, mugged the victim as she was collecting post from the postbox outside her home. He and his accomplice Declan Connolly, 41, had followed the woman from the casino to her home.  A third individual had been monitoring the woman at the casino.

Connolly was sentenced to five years in prison with the final two and half years suspended, while English was given a three-year suspended sentence by Judge Martin Nolan in November 2019.

(Thursday, May 26, 2022) - Investigation Into Illegal Casinos Leads to Indictments Alleging Gambling Dens, Bribery, Extortion Scheme and Drug Trafficking - An investigation by the Orange County Asian Organized Crime Task Force has resulted in the arrest of seven out of nine defendants charged in three indictments that allege an array of criminal conduct, including drug trafficking, the attempted extortion and subsequent robbery of a small business, bribery of a police officer and operating illegal casinos.

(Wednesday, May 25, 2022) - Massive Sports Betting Ring Bust Ends Anticlimatically With a Probation Sentence - A prosecutor said Vasilios Prassas was victimized by Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice, the ringleader of the organization.  DelGiudice was accused of taking advantage of Prassas’ gambling problems and repeatedly forgave debts that “would have caused him to crash and burn.”

(Wednesday, May 25, 2022) - Family Affair: 9 Individuals, Many of Whom Are Related, Convicted in Kidnapping, Murder of 5Dimes Owner - The judge convicted the criminals of kidnapping, extortion, aggravated robbery and illicit association. Morales Vega, implicated as the leader of the group, received a 65-year sentence.

(Monday, May 23, 2022) - Man Leaves Kids in Parked Car While He Gambled in Casino: Told Them He Was Running in to Get a Cookie - Two children, one a two-year-old and another a five-year-old, were left in a parked car as their dad went into a casino to gamble.  The Glendale, Arizona father was arrested at the Scottsdale casino.  39-year-old Keo Bunchhor was arrested on May 19.

Court documents indicate that a police officer approached the 5 year old through a rolled-down window. The child said, "dad told him he would just run out to get a cookie."

"The two children had been inside the vehicle for over half an hour with the vehicle running and casino surveillance was observing the male driver of the vehicle gambling inside the casino," read a portion of the court documents.

Bunchhor told police he was gambling in order to earn money to pay his rent.

"During a conversation with the father, he stated that he had a gambling problem and that he came to the casino to gamble to win rent money," court documents read.

(Saturday, May 21, 2022) - Teen Girl Trafficked From Mavs Game Found, 8 Individuals Arrested - Eight people were arrested in Oklahoma City after allegedly trafficking a 15-year-old Texas girl at a Dallas Mavericks game last month. 

The North Richland Hills, Texas teen had gone missing for 10 days and was eventually tracked down by law enforcement at an Extended Stay America hotel in Oklahoma City — roughly 200 miles away — on April 18.  She had attended the game with her father but failed to return back to her seat during the game after excusing herself to go to the restroom.

The Oklahoma City Police Department arrested Saniya Alexander, Melissa Wheeler, Chevaun Gibson, Kenneth Nelson, Sarah Hayes, Karen Gonzales, Thalia Gibson and Steven Hill in connection with the trafficking case, according to Fox.


“We are thankful for the work of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the recovery of our daughter,” the girl’s mother said in a statement on May 5. “My heart breaks for the unimaginable things my daughter had to endure for the 11 days she was taken, and I am so glad she is safe as we work toward her recovery.”

An attorney representing the girl's family, Zeke Fortenberry, claims that the Dallas Police chose not to open an investigation.

The department pointed to Texas Family Code (51.03 b. 3), which "dictates that missing juveniles are investigated as runaways unless there are circumstances which appear as involuntary such as a kidnapping or abduction."

In a bizarre twist, Fortenberry claims that a fraudulent ticket seller known to the AAC and Mavericks may have sold a fake ticket to a male suspect who allegedly lured the victim from the sports center.

"The systems and organizations involved in this case continually failed the victim. She should never have had contact with the man at the Mavericks game. The Dallas Police should have worked quickly to investigate leads and locate the teenager before she was trafficked to Oklahoma," Fortenberry said in a statement. "The Extended Stay America hotel in Oklahoma City put profits ahead of people by turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation occurring right before their eyes. This victim’s life will forever be changed. We hope to hold accountable those responsible and create change within these organizations so that this never happens to any other child."

He added that "this girl was being sexually assaulted in a hotel room multiple nights,” said Fortenberry. “Any time she could have been rescued from that sooner would have been better.”

He also asserted the hotel staff should have immediately noticed something was off, explaining, “When a 40-something-year-old man walks in with a 15-year-old girl and rents multiple hotel rooms, and then there is traffic coming in and out of those rooms, those are red flags.”

(Saturday, May 21, 2022) -  Man Found Dead in ‘Illegal Gambling Establishment’ - A man was arrested on Thursday for second-degree murder in relation to the death of a 33-year-old man within an illegal gambling establishment.

The Honolulu Police Department responded to an emergency call with the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services on Wednesday, May 18, at around 10:14 p.m. in the Kapiolani Boulevard area.

HPD said upon arrival at the establishment, the male victim was found unresponsive. The man sustained a fatal gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim and suspect both knew each other.  According to HPD, the two men were involved in a physical altercation on the property.

(Friday, May 20, 2022) - Robbery Suspect Shot to Death Outside Notorious Poker RoomHouston Police said they received a call about a shooting at around 3:56 a.m. Wednesday morning in the Legends Poker Room parking lot.   It all started as an attempted robbery at a neighboring cafe.

(Thursday, May 19 , 2022) - Man in Japan gambles COVID Town Funds Mistakenly Sent to Him - The money was supposed to be COVID-19 assistance for low-income households in a small Japanese town, but it was mistakenly wired to a bank account of a resident who refused to return it and spent most of it on online gambling, police said.

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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