Christian Lusardi, 43, of Fayetteville, North Carolina was pleased to win $6,814 in an Atlantic City poker tournament. But he was sad when his attempt to get rid of $3.6 million of counterfeit casino chips he'd used in the tournament was unsuccessful. Mr. Lusardi pleaded guilty to trademark counterfeiting and criminal mischief and will spend five years in prison. According to Carbon Poker, Lusardi is "already in prison for 5 years right now stemming from a bootleg DVD case where he made over $1 million."
Authorities said Lusardi, after suspecting the fake chips had been noticed, flushed them down the toilet in his room at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, where he had been staying. But the chips clogged the pipes, and guests on the floor below complained that water was dripping into their rooms.
Mr. Lusardi was also ordered to pay the Borgata hotel $463,540 for having to cancel the rest of the tournament and Harrah's Casino Hotel $9,455 for clogging the plumbing.
Jim Bakker, the smarmy, sex-scandal embroiled, 1980s TV evangelist fraudster and ex-con who fleeced his followers for decades with his then-wife Tammy Faye Bakker, has a new gig: selling "creamy potato soup bulk buckets" to end-times preppers for $160. He's even got a big-haired. Tammy-Faye lookalike helping him pitch these buckets, too!
My favorite part is when he takes an unsanitary sip from a ladleful of soup and almost gags on it.
Below, a fond look back at the Bakkers.
Following a 16-month Federal grand jury probe, Bakker was indicted in 1988 on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. In 1989, after a five-week trial which began on August 28 in Charlotte, the jury found him guilty on all 24 counts, and Judge Robert Daniel Potter sentenced him to 45 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine. [Wikipedia]
I imagine most fugitives would want to keep a low profile, but not so for Jason Stange, of Olympia, WA, who was found guilty of armed bank robbery in 2006. Rather than show up for probation, after a 117-month sentence, he was busy playing the part of a deranged Planned Parenthood doctor in the low-budget horror film, Marla Mae. Then last week, an article ran in The Olympian about the movie with lots of photos of 44-year-old Stange. Finally his days in the spotlight caught up with him. According to The News Tribune:
Brandon Roberts, the film’s producer, called Stange a talented actor who was well-liked by the cast and crew. He said the film was rewritten to suit Stange, who had “really nailed the audition” and brought a different element to the role than what the film’s creators originally sought.
Filming had just ended, and everyone was checking out the article in Friday morning’s newspaper when Stange headed out in his costume to buy cigarettes, Roberts said. Agents arrested Stange and allowed him to return the costume to the filming location.
Stange's leading role will remain in the film, which is scheduled for release in 2016.
Two men were arrested for holding up a KFC near Brisbane, Australia, but they had actually planned on robbing the jewelry shop next door. The gentlemen had broken through a wall in the building yet ended up in the chickenery instead. From The Telegraph:
The pair of thieves were making their third attempt to rob the jewellers. They had previously attempted to smash through the front window.
When that attempt failed they then tried to get in through the back doors, but instead found themselves in the neighbouring Animal Welfare League Opportunity Shop.
Ruben Hernandez, a former used car dealer from Downey, CA, was today sentenced to a dozen years in the klink for defrauding banks of about $4 million in home-buying fraud schemes. He was evidently someone who practiced a bastardized form of "applied magic" derived from West African traditions. The particular craft he practiced (reports say it included elements of Palo Mayombe) has become popular among Latin American drug dealers and criminals who wish to exact revenge upon enemies, or protect against prison time. At any rate, the guy's spells weren't very good. Snip from LA Times:
"Investigators went into one of the bedrooms, and it was a shrine with a cross and all kinds of skeletons and stuff," said Eugene Hanrahan, a deputy L.A. County district attorney. "The star attractions were these three effigy dolls dunked upside down in this brown liquid. One of them had my name, and the other two had the names of investigators."
Each doll had pins in its eyes, he said. Attached to the dolls was the case number in the criminal charges. Hanrahan said that inside the home on Thorndike Road investigators also found their names wrapped around a baseball bat.
(...) The prosecutor said Hernandez later admitted creating the dolls of his enemies but claimed the "pins were a form of spiritual acupuncture" to make them see that he was a good man.