Canadian Priest Gambles Away $386,000 in Donations Earmarked for Iraqi Refugees
A Canadian priest in Ontario has admitted to losing significantly more than CDN$500,000 (US$386,000) in charitable funds that were supposed to help Iraqi refugees looking for asylum in the eastern province that is canadian.
Canadian priest Amer Saka gambled away significantly more than $380,000 in funds raised that were supposed to be used to aid Iraq refugees. No charges are filed against the Ontario man of the fabric.
Father Amer Saka associated with St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church told Bishop Emanuel Shaleta in that he had gambled away all the money, which had been collected through parishioner donations february. The Chaldean Church is headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq, and dates back towards the century that is 1st though Saka’s parish in London, Ontario was established less than five years ago with Pope Benedict XVI’s blessing.
‘We believe Father Saka has a serious gambling problem and that these funds may have already been used for that function,’ Shaleta told the Toronto Star. ‘He called me . . . and said he destroyed all the cash.’
The roughly $386,000 had been deposited into an account entrusted to Saka by families belonging to St. Joseph’s. The finances had been said to be safeguarded by the church and used to assist refugees that are incoming Iraq.
The Chaldean refugee sponsorship program requires donors to support migrants for at the least one after they arrive in Canada year.
‘They would not provide this money as a contribution for his or her church,’ Shaleta said. ‘They trusted him, this cash was not for him. It was to get back once again to the refugees [once they arrived here].’
It’s unclear what Saka’s game of preference was in the casino, or which location or venues he frequented.
Regardless, it’s yet another black eye on the Catholic Church, as the religion continues to be working with persistent claims of intimate abuse within its company. Just this month, a state grand jury in Pennsylvania found that more than 50 priests and religious leaders within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona intimately abused and raped children over a 40-year period.
No formal charges have been levied on Saka, but an investigation by the London Police provider is ongoing. Saka has since checked into the Southdown Institute, an Ontario addiction and psychological state rehabilitation center for clergy members.
Are Church Donations Secure?
While Saka tries to overcome their gambling addiction, parishes across the country might want to take a closer look at their bank accounts, while the St. Joseph incident might be miniscule should additional priests try their hand at the casino with money that isn’t theirs.
In February, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCBC) announced a campaign that is joint the Canadian Catholic Organization for developing and Peace, help to the Church in want Canada, and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association Canada, in which it had raised over $3.5 million.
The CCBC charity funds will reportedly be distributed to Syrian refugees seeking safety in the Middle East and parts of Europe. What type of safeguards have been applied, if any, to safeguard the donations making yes they reach refugees is unclear.
With regard to the donors and refugees, we can only pray that the $3.5 million is being better secured than the contributions collected by St. Joseph’s.
It should go without saying that priests aren’t allowed to participate in gambling activities, especially with parishioner monies, but to reinforce that notion, Shaleta explained that ‘it’s against the rules’ associated with Catholic priesthood.
Washington, D.C. Always a Political Gamble, But Could A actual casino come to Nation’s Capital?
Washington, D.C., is a powerhouse of intrigue, bluffs, and gambles, but that reality could 1 day extend to an actual land-based casino in the District, in cases where a group funded by the anonymous business in Delaware get its way.
Perhaps not the many glamorous location to pull tourists to, but backers of the Washington, D.C., casino are pressing an initiative in hopes of revitalizing the bad and crime-ridden (but historic) Anacostia neighborhood. (Image: elevationdcmedia.com)
A group referred to as the people Committee meant for the Limited Gaming Initiative of 2016 is trying to place a referendum on the ballot this November in the District of Columbia, asking area voters to decide whether casino-style gambling should be legalized in the downtown area.
Committee Chairperson Berry Jerrels, a longtime Washington activist that is political businessman, wants to spot poker, blackjack, and other card games in the historic region of Anacostia, named for the river located to its east.
The location was initially a stronghold of the Nacochtank Indian tribe, whom were forced out by Colonial settlers as far right back as 1608, when Captain John Smith of Pocahontas fame moved through. Fast-forward 400 years, as well as the wampum that is latest are in the form of casino chips to boost the area’s coffers and job options.
‘It’s about job training, real jobs, new income for the city, plus an elevated, regulated video gaming experience for visitors,’ Jerrels told WAMU 88.5, the very first socket to report in the casino developments. ‘Our goal is to target the population that is visiting of District.’
Jerrels’ desire to attract and profit off tourists visiting the capital seems fine in some recoverable format. However, the truth is that few sightseers venture throughout the Anacostia River away from the downtown National Mall area.
A DC-based commercial realtor told us that the Anacostia neighborhood is certainly one associated with the city’s poorest, and house to a good amount of crime and medication activity.
According to data compiled from the United States Census Bureau and FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Anacostia has a 207 percent higher crime price than the national average, and a resident of the area includes a one in 11 possibility of becoming a victim of a nasty crime.
Regional residents additionally don’t appear too thrilled about bringing casino gambling to your community.
‘It just appears to me that an intersection that has such name recognition of the same quality Hope and MLK . . . [it does not make sense] that you’d decimate that boulevard with some gambling facility,’ Anacostia Economic Development Corporation President Stanley Jackson stated.
Numerous Obstacles to Overcome
Many hurdles stay in Jerrels’ course before he can bring his proposition to ballot.
First, the D.C. Board of Elections must approve the initiative during a hearing planned for might 4. if the board do therefore, Jerrels would then need to collect still 25,000 signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.
Another problem standing in their way lies with the back ground of their reported financial backer, US Virgin Islands-based gambling businessman Shawn Scott.
According to filings that are legal by Jerrels, Anacostia Redevelopment, an LLC registered in Delaware, is bankrolling the video gaming push. Jerrels and Scott were also in paired up in 2006 to legalize video clip slots at the Anacostia that is same location but that measure failed.
Scott includes a checkered past when it comes to the gaming industry, though. He’s been denied licenses in several states, and ended up being slapped with a $600,000 fine for forging signatures in 2004.
This time around might be the MGM National Harbor, which is scheduled to open in the second half of 2016 though Jerrels’ and Scott’s previous attempts failed, one asset for their campaign. Seven miles due south of Anacostia, maybe it’s a compelling selling point that as long as video gaming is coming to your area anyway, it will make sense to help keep those profits within city limits.
But the price of bringing gambling towards the city does not, at the minute, have actually widespread help. Gambling the way that is old-fashioned been illegal within the nation’s capital for many years, and it doesn’t appear that will be changing anytime soon.
Phil Mickelson Gambling Pal Gregory Silveira Withdraws Guilty Plea in Money Laundering Case
Golfer Phil Mickelson refuses to comment about any involvement that is potential the money laundering case against ex-handicapper Gregory Silveira. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
Gambler Gregory Silveira, known to have ties to golfer (and gambler) Phil Mickelson, has been facing charges of cash laundering in a l . a . court. But now Silveriera, who had formerly plead guilty to the costs, wants to alter his plea never to.
The 56-year-old former sports handicapper from La Quinta, California this past year admitted to three charges of laundering almost $3 million between an ‘unnamed gambling client,’ who ended up being later identified by ESPN as Mickelson, and an illegal offshore sports guide.
Mickelson, who is recognized to have a fondness for gambling, is not named in documents or accused of any crime.
In March 2010, in accordance with court documents, Silveira received a wire transfer of $2.75 million from your client into his own bank account. He then transferred $2.475 million, along with the remaining $275,000, into two bank that is separate, both in his name.
Based on ESPN’s Outside the Lines (OTL), a show that focuses on American sports issues ‘both on / off the field,’ an early on variation of Silveira’s plea agreement included a reference to ‘money laundering of funds from P.M.’ When OTL inquired in regards to the initials, the prosecution had the document stricken through the records, filing an amended variation the next day.
But now Silveira wishes to withdraw their guilty plea, claiming that he was just seeking to protect ‘an person who did perhaps not wish their wagering activity to become general public.’ The ex-handicapper claims he had been offered advice that is bad his past defense lawyer.
Court documents filed Tuesday by Silveira’s new attorney, James Duff, stated: ‘Silveira’s original counsel had told him that the money Silveira received from the gambler was ‘tainted’ and that Silveira’s transfer of those funds constituted money laundering. These suggestions was incorrect.’
Duff adds in the court filing that the funds was not ‘tainted’ and that Silveira was simply paying off a friend’s ‘gambling debt with legally earned money.’
No (Sensical) Comment
Mickelson, meanwhile, refused (via his counsel) to supply an official statement on the instance, although when confronted about it directly by a journalist at this past year’s Scottish Open, he offered the following rather oblique comment onto it all.
‘People are going to say things good; they’re going to say things bad; they are going to say things true; they’re going to express things maybe not real,’ he said. ‘The fact is, I’m comfortable enough with whom I am as someone like I must touch upon every little report that comes out. that I don’t feel’
Mickelson is famously known for gambling large on the Super Bowl, as well as in 2001 was reprimanded by the PGA for wagering on the results of A tiger woods shot at the NEC Invitational, in breach of the association’s strict policy that is anti-gambling.
Now, in January, he chastised 17-year-old pro that is australian Ruffles for publicly disclosing the details of a bet the two had made while sparring on the program. According to Ruffles, Mickelson offered him 2:1 for a $2,500 bet that he would win the game, but Mickelson lost by one shot. a disgruntled mickelson later said that the sum had been exaggerated.
Arizona Tribe Can Move Forward with Glendale Casino Expansion US that is following appeals Decision
The Desert Diamond West Valley Casino opened to less-than-stellar reviews last December, but that should change after the Arizona tribe handling the Glendale facility won its lawsuit against the state to provide Class III games. (Image: foxcarolina.com)
An Arizona tribe received the blessing associated with the US that is 9th Circuit of Appeals this week to expand its Glendale casino to add Class III gaming and integrate slot machines and table games. In a lawsuit between the Tohono O’odham country vs. the State of Arizona, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Gila River Indian Community, the court ruled on Tuesday that the Tohono tribe has every right to use its Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort in Glendale, Arizona.
State lawmakers and the two opposing tribes argued that Tohono doesn’t have the right that is legal operate a casino on land that wasn’t under their ownership once the Indian community reached its video gaming compact with Arizona in 2002.
In a unanimous choice, the 9th Circuit Court rejected hawaii’s arguments and ruled, ‘The Tohono O’odham country’s intend to create a casino and conduct Class III video gaming on a certain parcel of land did not break a gaming compact between the country therefore the State of Arizona. The Compact expressly authorizes Class III gaming ( table card games and slots) on the ‘Indian Lands’ of the Nation.’
Decision Advantageous To Western Valley
Located less than 20 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino opened December that is last under scrutiny.
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian and Gila River Indian communities opposed the resort because of their own self-interests, as the two tribes run gambling enterprises in the Phoenix regions of Chandler and Scottsdale.
After court that is numerous, the Tohono Nation was permitted to progress with its Glendale resort.
To date, the West Valley location has only been allowed to offer Class II games. The category is defined by the Arizona Department of Gaming to be ‘limited to games or gambling products in line with the game of bingo, and card games in which players perform just against one another, and the house cannot win.’
The lack of slots and other popular commercial casino games has generated the West Valley Casino being panned by site visitors. Bringing Class III variants to the casino floor should revitalize desire for the center, and, in turn, produce more revenues that are substantial.