Happy Holidays and Welcome Recovery Friends,
So The Media Portrays a Father and Husband Like THIS:
“Day of Reckoning for Crooked Accountant”
“A Long Island accountant may spend up to 13 years in prison for stealing a total of nearly $800,000 from clients, including some victims who were ill or disabled.”
Scott Meyer, 48, of Seaford, is a former partner of the Johnson and Meyer accounting firm in Huntington. He was sentenced in Suffolk County court to serve four and one-third to 13 years in prison Tuesday. Meyer had pleaded guilty to 24 criminal counts, including grand larceny, in March.
“By carefully choosing his victims to prey on their vulnerabilities, he used his skill as an accountant to steal over $800 thousand dollars and kept the thefts undetected for over five years,” said Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota.” Following his conviction earlier this year, an attorney reportedly blamed Meyer’s behavior on a gambling addiction caused by a brain lesion.”
So, the Meyer Family have come together to support Scott and his recovery from gambling addiction this holiday season with the fine folks and excellent resources of the National Council on Problem Gambling. It is why I chose them as my guest article. It’s important to know “the other side” of this story, not just what the news media spins.
They want to advocate that this can happen to anyone. That includes myself as I shared my criminal and consequences of my of my own “stupid thinking and choices” in my book. And yes, I paid high consequences like Scott but didn’t go to prison as he did. Here is what The Meyer Family want you to know about Scott, how many are supporting Scott in prison, and the folks of the national council are helping him and the family through this loss from addicted gambling and giving to them support through Holidays . . . .
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THE MEYER FAMILY SHARES THEIR STORY TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT GAMBLING ADDICTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
Kim Meyer and her five children live in a small Long Island community, in the home where she and her high school sweetheart/husband Scott built a full and happy life together over the last 27 years. They co-funded a business, Scott coached the kids’ sports teams, and both were involved in their community, schools, and church. Scott is now serving a 4½ – 13-year prison sentence for grand larceny and forgery, for using clients’ funds to chase more than $500,000 in gambling losses.
With New York state recently legalizing online gambling and preparing to build several new casinos in 2017, Kim has decided to go public with their private nightmare, to help raise awareness about gambling addiction and reduce the stigma that persists – lessons she and her family learned through painful personal experience.
Kim’s daughters created this video to raise awareness and let their dad know how much they love and support him.
As Kim tells it, Scott began gambling many years ago for fun, as the vast majority of people do without any negative consequences. For Scott, the fun quickly escalated to a problem. He exhibited symptoms of pathological gambling – symptoms that often go unnoticed by family and friends.
“Unfortunately, gambling is rarely viewed as a disease in society, as drug and alcohol are,” says Kim. “Instead it is seen as a moral issue and a choice. The criminal justice system is ill informed and prosecutors refused to consider gambling addiction as the explanation for how a smart, loving, hard-working man could sabotage his life and that of his family.”
After Scott was arrested, his doctor recommended a neurological workup, complete with MRI’s. He was found to have bilateral white matter brain tumors, which cause behavioral and cognitive changes such as poor insight, lack of impulse control and poor judgment.
“Further proof that addiction is not a choice, not a character flaw, and not a moral issue,” Kim notes. “In spite of an addiction and underlying brain impairment, Scott went to jail. We are lost without him.” Scott primarily gambled at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT, and from 2008 to 2013, he lost in excess of $300,000 on slot machines there alone. No casino staff discussed his high losses and other behaviors with him or contacted his family. Instead, they continue to send him promotional mailings with special offers to draw him back.
“To be clear: I am in no way suggesting that Mohegan Sun is responsible for my husband’s gambling disorder, or his physical disability,” says Kim. “What I would like to see, however, is for casinos to use a very small amount of their profits to help raise awareness and to protect others by instituting some simple safeguards, such as:
- Use casino reward card tracking systems, not just to make offers to entice gamblers to continue gambling, but to identify problem gamblers and reach out to them and their families;
- Work with gaming industry leaders and state and national gambling prevention groups to create state certification programs that train casino employees to recognize problem gamblers, to identify people who are obviously in trouble, and to offer assistance. As a bartender is required to stop serving a problem drinker, so too should casino employees know when to intervene;
- Take identified problem gamblers like Scott off their promotional mailing lists;
Provide 1% – 2% of their profits to support organizations that offer treatment and other assistance for problem gamblers and their families.
In spite of extensive evidence of his medical problems and his addiction; being in treatment and rehabilitation for two years; having a new job with a boss willing to testify on his behalf; another judge who was an expert on gambling addiction willing to testify for him; and his steady paying off of bills and beginning to make restitution to his victims; the judge believed that Scott “should have simply stopped when he realized his gambling was a problem” and found him guilty. Kim continues to work with attorneys to get Scott released as soon as possible so he can continue his treatment and recovery, and continue paying back his debts.
“Our family made the decision to share our story and to work side by side with the National Council on Problem Gambling, as well as the New York and Connecticut state councils in an effort to change things for the better. I have faith that together we can encourage gaming executives to increase their commitment to helping families like ours, and save others from this destruction. It’s a promise I’ve made to my children – that something good can come from this.”
Happy Holidays All ~ Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Columnist.