US Mayor – Campaign money misused for gambling

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US Mayor – Campaign money misused for gambling

One can hardly speak of a confidence-building measure. Joseph Stahura, Mayor of Whiting in the US state of Indiana, is said to have gambled away campaign money with his wife, among other things to finance visits to the casino. However, it is not known whether the two have also visited reputable online casinos. The two fraudsters have mostly confessed, according to the local prosecutor. This will mean that Whiting will definitely have a new mayor.

And money beckons forever

The fraud that has now become noticeable is not a one-off violation. Rather, the couple has repeatedly misappropriated donations over the years. Between 2014 and 2019, several hundred thousand dollars flowed into the private coffers of the mayor and his wife. This not only covered private credit card bills and the daughter’s maintenance, but also casino visits. A total of almost 56,000 dollars are said to have been raised for this alone. With what success is unfortunately not known or not yet. In the USA it is quite common to finance election campaigns through donations and to a much greater extent than in Germany, for example. Here, party donations are very carefully controlled and are subject to strict regulations. In the United States, things are a little different. There it is absolutely “good form” for companies, celebrities and citizens to donate to a party and to make it public. Events such as balls, dinners and cultural events are regularly organized to raise funds. How this happened in Whiting is not yet known exactly. But the prosecution is investigating and seeing its efforts to curb political corruption vindicated, said US Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II: “My agency has a long tradition of aggressively pursuing public corruption cases on behalf of the honest citizens of our community. It will stay that way as long as I’m a US lawyer. While most elected officials serve professionally and honestly, some do not. Those who illegally seek personal gain because of their public office will be held accountable. ”Anyone wondering why Whiting is not telling them in the United States should be reassured. This is not a geography failure. Whiting is one of those small towns that stretch across the United States. Founded in 1885 and named after a railroad worker who died there, Whiting now has a population of just under 5,000. The city’s make-up is 76.3% White, 3.5% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 15.7% other races, and 3.2% two or more races.

40.7% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. Located on the northern border of the state of Indiana, it borders the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is therefore in a larger neighborhood to Chicago. The annual Pierogi Festival, to honor the venerable Pierogi dumplings, is a special attraction of the town. Unfortunately, we do not know why a Polish dumpling is celebrated annually by almost 250,000 visitors. We assume that it is a tribute to the early residents of Whiting.

Again and again fraud and other crimes

Crimes being committed is nothing new. There are many motives for it. And that certainly also includes illegally raising money to indulge your passion for gambling. One cannot speak of a crime of passion, although of course an unhealthy play instinct can also be a passion. However, some interesting cases show that this does not turn out well in the vast majority of cases. Of course, you don’t know anything about those who end well.

The 200,000 euros that a property manager in North Rhine-Westphalia embezzled to gamble in the casino are still rather small change. Bankers somehow seem like a profession that it particularly affects. Perhaps dealing with too much money is oh too tempting. For example, a banker from Hamburg embezzled 1.7 million euros in 2018 in order to lose them on bets. He bet on the rise or fall of the DAX, i.e. the German share index. That went pretty well at the beginning, but as it is with the bets, there is also a streak of bad luck. And he tried to bridge that with even more games. For this he used his position at the bank, invented fictitious customers, granted them generous credit lines, but diverted these loans to his own account. It went well for two years and 1.7 million euros, then his own auditing department found out about it. Another banker from the north, from Buxtehude, gambled away eight million euros within three years. To do this, he made generous use of his own customer accounts and plundered them. But he still tried to plug these holes with the profits from visits to the Casino Hamburg. In vain. This infidelity was also exposed.

Crime is not worth it. This is well known. But there seems to be a mechanism that exposes otherwise common sense and thus leads to rash actions. And illegally raising funds for casino visits or wagering seems to be a common phenomenon of these dropouts.

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