Canadian Priest Gambles Away $386,000 in Donations Earmarked for Iraqi Refugees

By February 28, 2020 No Comments

Canadian Priest Gambles Away $386,000 in Donations Earmarked for Iraqi Refugees

A Canadian priest in Ontario has admitted to losing more than CDN$500,000 (US$386,000) in charitable funds that were supposed to assist Iraqi refugees looking for asylum within the eastern province that is canadian.

Canadian priest Amer Saka gambled away significantly more than $380,000 in funds raised that were allowed to be used to aid Iraq refugees. No charges happen filed against the Ontario man of the fabric.

Father Amer Saka for the 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 to your 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 gambling that is serious and that these funds may have been used for that function,’ Shaleta told the Toronto Star. ‘I was called by hi . . . and said he lost all the cash.’

Unholy Happenings

The roughly $386,000 had been deposited into an account entrusted to Saka by families belonging to St. Joseph’s. The finances were said to be safeguarded by the church and utilized to assist refugees that are incoming Iraq.

The Chaldean refugee sponsorship program requires donors to guide migrants for a minimum of one after they arrive in Canada year.

‘They did not provide this cash as a donation for their church,’ Shaleta said. ‘They trusted him, this money had not been for him. It would be to be provided with back to the refugees [once they arrived here].’

It is unclear what Saka’s game of choice was in the casino, or which place or venues he frequented.

Regardless, it’s yet another eye that is black the Catholic Church, since the religion is still working with persistent claims of intimate abuse within its organization. Simply this month, a state grand jury in Pennsylvania unearthed 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 Service is ongoing. Saka has since checked to 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 national country might want to take a closer look at their bank accounts, as the St. Joseph incident might be miniscule should additional priests try their hand during the casino with money that’s not theirs.

In February, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCBC) announced a joint campaign with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Aid towards the Church in Need Canada, and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association Canada, by 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 components of Europe. What sort of safeguards have actually been put in place, if any, to safeguard the donations and also make certain they reach refugees is unclear.

With regard to the donors and refugees, we could 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 take part in gambling activities, specially with parishioner monies, but to reinforce that idea, Shaleta explained that ‘it’s from the rules’ of this 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 casino that is land-based the District, if a group funded by the anonymous organization in Delaware get its means.

Maybe not the many glamorous location to pull tourists to, but backers of a Washington, D.C., casino are pressing an initiative in hopes of revitalizing the bad and crime-ridden (but historic) Anacostia neighborhood. (Image:

A group called the Citizens Committee meant for the Limited Gaming Initiative of 2016 is wanting 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 district of Anacostia, named for the river located to its east.

The region had been initially a stronghold of this Nacochtank Indian tribe, whom were forced out by Colonial settlers as far back as 1608, whenever Captain John Smith of Pocahontas fame moved through. Fast-forward 400 years, therefore the latest wampum could be in the shape of casino potato chips to enhance the area’s coffers and job options.

‘It’s about job training, real jobs, new income for the city, and an elevated, regulated video gaming experience for visitors,’ Jerrels told WAMU 88.5, the very first socket to report regarding the casino developments. ‘Our objective is to target the population that is visiting of District.’


Jerrels’ desire to attract and benefit off tourists visiting the capital seems fine written down. However, the truth is that few sightseers venture across the Anacostia River away from the downtown National Mall area.

A DC-based commercial realtor told us that the Anacostia neighborhood is one regarding the city’s poorest, and home to an abundance of crime and medication activity.

According to data compiled from the US Census Bureau and FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Anacostia includes a 207 percent higher crime price than the average that is national and a resident associated with the area possesses one in 11 potential for becoming a victim of a nasty crime.

Local residents additionally do not 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.

Many Obstacles to conquer

Many hurdles stay in Jerrels’ course before he can bring his proposition to ballot.

First, the D.C. Board of Elections must approve the effort during a hearing scheduled for May 4. if the board do therefore, Jerrels would then nevertheless need to collect 25,000 signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.

Another problem standing in his way lies with the back ground of his reported financial backer, US Virgin Islands-based gambling businessman Shawn Scott.

According to legal filings made 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 movie slots during the same Anacostia location, but that measure failed.

Scott features a checkered past when it comes down to the gaming industry, though. He’s been denied licenses in numerous states, and was slapped with a $600,000 fine for forging signatures in 2004.

Though Jerrels’ and Scott’s past attempts failed, one asset due to their campaign these times could be the MGM National Harbor, which is planned to open within the second half of 2016. Seven miles due south of Anacostia, maybe it’s a compelling attempting to sell point that as long as video gaming is coming towards the area anyway, it will make sense to keep those profits within town limits.

But the price of bringing gambling to the city does not, at the moment, have widespread help. Gambling the way that is old-fashioned been illegal in the nation’s money for decades, and it doesn’t appear that’ll be changing anytime soon.

Phil Mickelson Gambling Pal Gregory Silveira Withdraws Guilty Plea in Money Laundering Case

Golfer Phil Mickelson declines 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 costs of cash laundering in a l . a . court. However now Silveriera, who had previously plead guilty to the fees, wishes to improve his plea not to.

The 56-year-old former activities 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, as well as an illegal offshore sports guide.

Mickelson, that is known to have a fondness for gambling, is perhaps 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 bank that is own account. He then transferred $2.475 million, along with the remaining $275,000, into two bank that is separate, both in their name.


Based on ESPN’s Outside the Lines (OTL), a show that focuses on American sports dilemmas ‘both on and off the field,’ a youthful variation of Silveira’s plea agreement included a guide to ‘money laundering of funds from P.M.’ When OTL inquired in regards to the initials, the prosecution had the document stricken from the records, filing an amended variation the day that is next.

But now Silveira wants to withdraw their guilty plea, claiming that he was simply seeking to guard ‘an person who did not wish their wagering activity to become general public.’ The ex-handicapper claims he had been offered bad advice by his previous 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 ended up being ‘tainted’ and that Silveira’s transfer of those funds constituted money laundering. These suggestions was incorrect.’

Duff adds within the court filing that the cash had been not ‘tainted’ and that Silveira was simply settling a friend’s ‘gambling financial obligation with legitimately earned money.’

No (Sensical) Comment

Mickelson, meanwhile, refused (via his counsel) to provide an official statement on the instance, although when confronted about any of it directly by way of a journalist at last year’s Scottish Open, he offered the following rather oblique comment on it all.

‘People are likely to say things good; they’re going to state things bad; they go to say things real; they’re going to express things not real,’ he said. ‘The fact is, I’m comfortable enough with whom I will be as someone that I do not feel like i would like to comment on every little report that comes out.’

Mickelson is famously known for gambling large on the Super Bowl, and in 2001 was reprimanded by the PGA for wagering on the outcome of a padraig harrington shot at the NEC Invitational, in breach of the association’s strict anti-gambling policy.

Recently, in January, he chastised 17-year-old pro that is australian Ruffles for publicly disclosing the dolphin treasure slot machine free games details of a bet the 2 had made while sparring on the program. According to Ruffles, Mickelson offered him 2:1 on 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 Following US Appeals Court Choice

The Desert Diamond West Valley Casino exposed to less-than-stellar reviews last December, but that should change after the Arizona tribe managing the Glendale facility won its lawsuit against their state to provide Class III games. (Image:

An Arizona tribe received the blessing regarding the 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals this week to expand its Glendale casino to include Class III gaming and merge slot machines and table games. The court ruled on Tuesday that the Tohono tribe has every right to operate its Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort in Glendale, Arizona in a lawsuit between the Tohono O’odham Nation vs. the State of Arizona, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Gila River Indian Community.

State lawmakers and the two opposing tribes argued that Tohono doesn’t always have the legal directly to 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 decision, the 9th Circuit Court rejected hawaii’s arguments and ruled, ‘The Tohono O’odham Nation’s want to build a casino and conduct Class III gaming on a certain parcel of land did not break a gaming compact between the country and the State of Arizona. The Compact expressly authorizes Class III gaming ( dining table card games and slot machines) regarding the ‘Indian Lands’ of the Nation.’

Decision Beneficial To Western Valley

Located not as much as 20 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino opened last December under much scrutiny.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian and Gila River Indian communities opposed the resort because of their self-interests that are own as the 2 tribes run gambling enterprises within the Phoenix regions of Chandler and Scottsdale.

After court that is numerous, the Tohono Nation was allowed to progress with its Glendale resort.

To date, the West Valley place has only been allowed to offer Class II games. The classification is defined by the Arizona Department of Gaming as being ‘limited to games or gambling products based on the game of bingo, and games in which players play just against one another, and the homely house cannot win.’

The lack of slots along with other popular casino that is commercial has resulted in the West Valley Casino being panned by visitors. Bringing Class III variants to the casino floor should revitalize desire for the facility, and, in change, generate more revenues that are substantial.

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