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Entries in Hernando County (1)

Friday
Apr082011

Fla. Woman Gambles $14M, Fleeces In-Laws

BananaStock/Thinkstock(HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla.) -- A Florida woman's gambling addiction was so severe that she pumped $14 million into the slots and is accused of stealing her in-laws' life savings to fuel her habit, police said.

Jennifer Dennison, 42, was arrested after Hernando County sheriff's detectives wrapped up a five-month investigation. "Theoretically, she could spend the next couple decades in prison," Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said. She was charged with 16 counts including exploitation of the elderly, forgery of checks, and organized scheme to defraud.

Dennison's in-laws, 88-year-old Laverne Robert Dennison and 73-year-old Janet A. Dennison, bounced a check in August of last year, launching the investigation that led to the woman's arrest.

Dennison hit the slots at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, winning a total of nearly $13 million. But she pumped every penny of that back in, plus at least $700,000 more, police say.

The thrill of the buzzing slot machines led her to fleece her in-laws of their retirement money, drain their bank accounts and cash in their insurance policies, police said. "Ms. Dennison was the one who had basically wiped out their accounts to the tune of over $500,000," Nienhuis said.

Jennifer Dennison's husband, Scott, holds a power of attorney for his parents, but Jennifer Dennison made all of the financial decisions for the family.

The gambling industry is increasingly targeting women online with so called sexy slot machines and offering prizes like a Manhattan shopping spree. There are even Sex and the City-themed slot machines that let you gamble with Carrie Bradshaw.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio