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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Executive accused of embezzling $500K
The luxury auto dealership CFO needed the money for his gambling habit, a detective says.
By CASEY CORA and ABBIE VANSICKLE, Times Staff Writers
Published September 15, 2007
Andrew J. Casale is escorted by Tampa police detective Lela Davis (left) and police officer Terrance Covais.
[Carrie Pratt | Times]
TAMPA - An executive at a high-end auto dealership was arrested Friday morning, accused of embezzling more than $500,000 to feed a gambling habit.
Andrew J. Casale, 49, faces charges of organized fraud, racketeering, six counts of second-degree grand theft and 100 counts of third-degree grand theft.
Casale was chief financial officer at Reeves Import Motor Cars, 11333 N Florida Ave., for five years. Police said owner Vivian C. Reeves became suspicious and, after hiring an auditor, discovered missing funds at the luxury car dealership.
Casale was arrested at his home, 3807 Barcelona St., at 10 a.m.
Tampa police Detective Lela Davis, the lead investigator on the case, said that in interviews Casale admitted taking the money to feed his gambling problem. He would funnel petty cash from the company to himself, sometimes in amounts of $20,000 or more, she said. He would use the money to pay gambling debts mainly for online gambling for sporting events.
Reeves discovered the problem when she tried to hire additional help for Casale and he refused, said Sgt. Paul Mumford.
Reeves became curious and checked into the finances while Casale was on a short vacation. When he returned, Reeves fired him.
Casale, who is married and has two children, kept his head down as he walked from police headquarters into a patrol car. Asked by a television reporter if he had anything to say, he said only, "I'm sorry."
Davis said he told her in an interview Friday that "he can't control" his gambling problem and that "he just wants to get past this and move on."