Man Who Stole $4M from Rahway Mega Church Sentenced

Rahway, NJ – A man who admitted he used his position as a certified public accountant to steal more than $4 million from a Rahway mega church was sentenced to almost 5 years (57 months) in prison Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Donald Gridiron, 51, of Pomona, California, admitted in 2015 that he defrauded the Agape Family Worship Center out of more than $4 million while serving as an accountant for the non-denominational church, according to federal prosecutors.

The church, on East Hazelwood Avenue in Rahway, has a congregation of nearly 5,000.

The Agape Family Worship Center hired Gridiron as an accountant because he knew people in the church, prosecutors said. He was paid a monthly salary and reimbursed for his expenses.

Except while working there, Gridiron also maintained his role as the treasurer for a non-profit based in California. Gridiron transferred more than $4 million between the church and the non-profit, both of which were accounts he controlled.

Read more at the Woodbridge Patch…

Canadian priest accused of gambling away $380,000 meant for refugees

According to reports in the Canadian media, an Ontario-based Catholic priest is under investigation on suspicion of gambling away funds that had been set aside to provide for refugees newly settled in Canada.

Father Amer Saka, a priest at the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in London, Ontario, is suspected to have lost roughly a half-million Canadian dollars (equivalent to $380,000 U.S.) that had been entrusted to him by local families keen on sponsoring new arrivals from the Middle East.

Saka phoned the church’s bishop, Emanuel Shaleta, last month to reportedly confess that the funds were lost.

“He called me on the phone and . . . said he lost all the money. I said, ‘How?’ He said, ‘Gambling,’ ” Shaleta told the Toronto Star this weekend. He has since checked the priest into an addiction center. Investigators are examining the situation, though no formal charges have been filed.

Read more at the Washington Post…

Former Lincoln Race Course manager claims wrongful firing

Article from the Lincoln Journal Star


Lincoln Race Course’s former manager has filed a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully fired in retaliation for reporting his boss for alleged illegal use of the pari-mutuel betting system.

Judd Bietz, and his wife, Shanna Bietz, were fired and escorted from the Lincoln Race Course by security in April 2013, three months after state racing officials learned he had reported Greg Hosch of Omaha to Lincoln police, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Lancaster County District Court.

The Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, owner of the Lincoln Race Course, said through its attorney, Lynne Schuller, that the group is “denying all allegations and we expect to be vindicated.”

Hosch has not been charged with a crime. He is general manager of Horsemen’s Park in Omaha and oversees the Lincoln Race Course as vice president of Omaha Exposition & Racing Inc. Hosch lost a bid for the state Legislature’s District 12 seat in November.

Bietz, who was hired as director of the Lincoln Race Course in July 2009, says in his suit that an employee told him in late 2012 that Hosch had directed cashiers at the simulcast facility and Thoroughbred racetrack to create vouchers and pay out cash — generally $100 to $300 — to certain people even though they had not placed bets.

Bietz feared Hosch’s use of the system violated state and federal laws and reported it to police.

“Horse racing, like professional boxing and wrestling, has many disbelievers in the honesty and integrity of the sport,” his lawsuit says. “The false ticket for cash scheme would not help the sport’s reputation.”

At the same time, the Lincoln Race Course was in the process of moving from the former State Fair Park to its new home at U.S. 77 and West Denton Road.

Omaha Exposition & Racing President Kevin Hulse told Bietz in December 2012 that the group planned to hire him to manage the new Lincoln Race Course, according to the lawsuit.

A month later, Bietz told Horsemen’s Association President Todd Veerhusen about a police investigation into a cash payout scheme.

Hosch also found out about the investigation, allegedly after the company that provides the betting software called him about being contacted by police.

Once word had spread, the suit says, Hulse told Bietz to “lay off” and to stop cooperating with police.

Bietz was fired soon after.

His lawsuit names both the Nebraska and national horsemen’s associations, as well as Omaha Exposition & Racing, which manages both Horsemen’s Park and the Lincoln track.

It asks for payment of lost wages — he made $59,5000 annually, plus bonuses and benefits — plus two years future pay, and unspecified amounts for costs, attorneys fees, pain, suffering and mental anguish.

Bietz said he has applied at other horse racing venues but failed to get the jobs, and he believes the reason is that he has been blacklisted by Omaha Exhibition & Racing, the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association and Hosch, according to the lawsuit.

Bietz has since gotten a part-time job making a fraction of his former salary. He and his wife have had to cash in their retirement savings to pay for living expenses, the lawsuit says.

Hosch and Hulse could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Veerhusen declined to comment, and the national association did not return a message… READ MORE


















Tom Osborne Interviews Matt Monheiser

Tom Osborne Interviews Convicted Gambling Embezzler Matt Monheiser

Bank Vice President, Gambling Addict, and Convicted Embezzler Matt Monheiser talks with Nebraska’s Tom Osborne about how gambling hurts families and communities.

Omaha Private Eye Accused of Defrauding Client


Omaha private eye accused of defrauding client of more than $850,000

An Omaha private investigator was indicted Thursday on allegations that she schemed to defraud a client of more than $850,000.

Patricia Walker-Halstead has been charged by the federal government with 11 counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors say Walker-­Halstead used payments from the client for personal expenses and gambling rather than on background checks and other security services.

Omaha World-Herald August 23, 2013