Republican Laurie Sanborn of Bedford, Massachusetts, resigned as a chair of the committee reviewing the state’s charitable gaming industry. According to Associated Press (AP), the chairperson and her husband, former state Senator Andy Sanborn, are subject to criminal investigation by the state authorities.

Investigations Focused on Sanborn’s:

As reported by AP, the attorney general’s office launched a criminal investigation after the alleged discovery of evidence that Andy Sanborn fraudulently obtained COVID-19 relief aid. The state authorities believe that former Senator spent the state’s monetary aid on luxury cars for himself and his wife.

Rep. Laurie Sanborn reportedly stepped down from the role of a chairperson of a commission that recently started an extensive research into the state’s charitable gaming industry. The move has been welcomed by House Speaker Sherm Packard who now reportedly sees no distractions for the commission from doing their job right.

Casinos Facilities and Charitable Gambling:

Laurie and Andy Sanborn own Concord Casino, a charitable gaming venue located in downtown Concord, New Hampshire with 40 electronic machines and table games. According to NHPR, New Hampshire’s unique model anticipates that charitable gaming facilities shall grant 35% of gaming revenues to non-profit organizations, with maximum bets and working hours regulated by state lawmakers.

On June 23, 2023, Andy Sanborn was granted approval by Concord to build a much larger property on the eastern edge of the city. The venue tentatively named the Imagine Casino was supposed to feature table games, a poker room, slot machines, as well as entertainment options and a brewery. But the criminal investigation seems to put these plans on hold.

Alleged Fraudulent Activity:

The investigation launched by the attorney general’s office for the alleged Andy Sanborn’s misuse of the funds received for the COVID-19 relief purposes will, as reported by AP, encompass “the actions of all of the individuals and entities involved,” according to Attorney General John Formella. The matter has reportedly been referred to federal authorities, with the state lottery commission moving to permanently suspend Andy Sanburn’s casino operating license.

Sanborn Claims Full Compliance:

AP further reports that Andy Sanborn said that he strongly disagrees with the findings of the commission and that he looks forward to challenging the commission at a hearing. He reportedly explained that his application for federal relief was made to meet operating challenges. Sanborn reportedly also said that he paid the utmost attention to ensure that the application requirements are met. “I have full confidence our actions were transparent and in complete accordance of the law,” he reportedly said.

Lucrative Purchases Disputed:

On the other hand, the attorney general’s office reportedly alleges that Sanborn fraudulently obtained $844,000 in funds from the Small Business Administration, and accuses him of spending $181,000 on buying two Porsche race cars and $80,000 to buy a Ferrari for his wife. According to the attorney general, Sanborn is believed to have paid himself more than $183,000 allegedly presenting the amount as a rent for his Concord casino facilities, AP reports.

The same source reports that Andy Sanborn was a four-term state Senator that unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2018, while Laurie Sanborn currently serves her 7th term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a speaker pro tempore and chair of the Ways and Means Committee.