Staying out of trouble is harder for some people than others, and in 2017, we saw both high and low-profile risk-takers push the envelope more than necessary. From celebrities to a man of the cloth, these are the people whose impossibly poor decisions may come back to haunt them, some for decades in prison, probably.
Although they aren’t directly in the casino business, their risky business was industry-related.
Simpson Causes a Stir
It took nine years for O.J. Simpson to get parole for his part in a 2007 robbery and attempted kidnapping at Palace Station in Las Vegas, and when he was let out on Oct. 1, it didn’t take him long to find himself in hot water.
The disgraced former NFL player and actor had set up residence in Vegas, and just 38 days after his release, he was removed by security at the Cosmopolitan on the Strip and given a lifetime ban for allegedly causing a disturbance. His lawyer said he was not drunk or on drugs and that Simpson visited his parole officer the next day to be tested and passed.
That he would remain free dismayed those who bet money that he would violate his parole. One offshore site was giving plus-500 that he would slip up and return to prison, but as of this writing, the Juice remains loose.
Shock Jock Gets His Own Jolt
Craig Carton’s job as a sports talk radio host at WFAN in New York City entailed providing caustic commentary on athletes, but on Sept. 4, the 48-year-old was arrested and charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy by the US Attorney’s Office in New York’s Southern District.
The indictment said he conducted a $4 million Ponzi-like concert ticket fraud scheme to pay off millions of dollars in gambling debts. He told potential investors they had access to blocks of concert tickets that they could buy at face value and then resell for inflated prices.
At a Nov. 8 hearing, he pleaded not guilty and a trial is expected after the first of the year. If convicted, he could face up to 45 years in prison.
Dopey Politician Places the Blame
Louisiana lawmaker Jerome “Dee” Richard (I-Dist. 55) found out the hard way that prescription medication and gambling don’t mix, but was fortunate to avoid any jail time for his misdeeds. The legislator was caught using $37,000 from a campaign account on trips to local casinos in September.
He blamed his Parkinson’s medication and promised to pay restitution, after indicating that he’d reached an agreement with the Board of Ethics stipulating both repayment and admitting improper use of donations.
His claim about the pills may have some validity. As early as 2005, research indicated a link between that class of drugs and impulse control behaviors such as excessive gambling, shopping, and sexual activity.
Pastor Robs M Casino Over and Over
A local Las Vegas evangelist preacher was arrested on Oct. 28 for three robberies he allegedly committed at the M Resort. Greg Bolusan was charged with three counts of burglary, one count of attempted robbery, and two counts of robbery.
He parked in the same spot with the same car each time, and entered and exited through the same doors on Aug. 24, Sept. 10, and Oct. 28. He also used the same backpack, wore similar clothes, and used a fake gun. He could be facing up to 60 years in prison.
A trial date has not yet been announced.