Pathological gambler embezzles $1 Million from Land O’Lakes
Gambling addiction is a significant problem in the United States, impacting adults of all ages. It affects 1 to 3 percent of adults, men more often than women. It usually begins in adolescence in men and later in women.
Cynthia C. Jacobsen, a one-time payroll supervisor for Land O’Lakes has been sentenced to two years and two months in prison and ordered to pay back the $1,035,955.58 she embezzled from the company. She pleaded guilty to mail fraud after illegally adding her daughter’s name as a vendor in the company’s payroll system and authorizing 489 payments to her. She would forge her signature and cash the checks herself.
Cynthia’s defense explained that she got heavily into gambling after her son-in-law died in 2008 following a diabetic coma.
“Ms. Jacobsen’s gambling quickly spiraled out of control,” defense attorney James Becker wrote. “Although spending time in casinos was a somewhat effective respite from her real-world problems, her gambling habit added to them, and she soon was having difficulty covering even basic expenses.”
What is Gambling Addiction?
A compulsive, or pathological, gambler is someone who is unable to resist his or her impulses to gamble. This leads to severe personal and, or, social consequences. The urge to gamble becomes so great that tension can only be relieved by more gambling.
There is a very fine line between problem gambling and gambling too much. The critical sign of problem gambling is often hidden from awareness, with denial. Many gamblers typically do not know they have a problem. Admitting you have a problem, or may have a problem, is the first step to recovery. Unfortunately this realization normally only surfaces when a problem gambler hits rock bottom.
Although some people like to gamble occasionally, the pathological gambler usually progresses from occasional gambling to habitual gambling. As the gambling progresses, the gambler begins to risk more—both personally and financially. This often leads to severe personal problems, financial ruin and criminal behavior to support the gambling habit.
Signs of Gambling Addiction:
Pathological gambling is indicated by demonstrating five or more of the following symptoms:
- Spending a lot of time thinking about gambling, such as past experiences or ways to get more money with which to gamble
- Needing to gamble progressively larger amounts of money to feel excitement
- Having made many unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit gambling
- Feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut back or quit gambling
- Gambling to escape problems or feelings of sadness or anxiety
- Gambling larger amounts of money to try to recoup previous losses
- Lying about the amount of time or money spent gambling
- Committing crimes to get money to gamble
- Losing a job, relationship, or educational or career opportunity due to gambling
- Needing to borrow money to get by due to gambling losses
Treatment for Gambling Addiction:
Pathological gambling addiction is a chronic disorder that will get worst over time if not treated. Treatment for Gambling Addiction include…
- Individual Psychotherapy
- Group Psychotherapy
- Support Groups
- 12 Step Groups
- Medication combined with psychotherapy