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

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 assist Iraqi refugees looking for asylum in the eastern province that is canadian.

Canadian priest Amer Saka gambled away more than $380,000 in funds raised that were supposed 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 goes back to the 1st century, though Saka’s parish in London, Ontario was created less than five years ago with Pope Benedict XVI’s blessing.

’We believe Father Saka has a serious gambling issue and that these funds may have now been utilized for that purpose,’ Shaleta told the Toronto Star. ’I was called by hi . . . and said he lost all the cash.’

Unholy Happenings

The roughly $386,000 ended up being deposited into a merchant account entrusted to Saka by families belonging to St. Joseph’s. The finances were supposed to be safeguarded by the church and used to assist refugees that are incoming Iraq.

The Chaldean refugee sponsorship program requires donors to aid migrants for no less than one after they arrive in Canada year.

’They didn’t offer this money as a contribution because of their church,’ Shaleta said. ’They trusted him, this money was not for him. It would be to be provided with back to the refugees [once they arrived here].’

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

Regardless, it’s just one more eye that is black the Catholic Church, due to the fact religion remains coping with persistent claims of sexual abuse within its company. Just this month, circumstances grand jury in Pennsylvania unearthed that more than 50 priests and religious leaders within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona sexually abused and raped children over a period that is 40-year.

No formal charges have been levied on Saka, but an investigation by the London Police Service is ongoing. Saka has since checked into the Southdown Institute, an Ontario addiction and health that is mental center for clergy members.

Are Church Donations Safe?

While Saka attempts to overcome his gambling addiction, parishes across the country might want to have a closer look at their bank accounts, since the St. Joseph incident could be miniscule should additional priests try their hand during 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, Aid towards the Church in Need Canada, and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association Canada, in which it had raised over $3.5 million.

The charity that is CCBC 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 and 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 participate in gambling activities, specially with parishioner monies, but to reinforce that notion, Shaleta explained that ’it’s against 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 a real land-based casino in the District, in cases where a group funded by the anonymous organization in Delaware get its way.

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

A group known as the people Committee to get 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 determine 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 put poker, blackjack, and other card games in the historic district of Anacostia, named for the river located to its eastern.

The area ended up being originally a stronghold for the Nacochtank Indian tribe, whom were forced out by Colonial settlers as far straight back as 1608, when Captain John Smith of Pocahontas popularity moved through. Fast-forward 400 years, and also the latest wampum can be in the shape of casino chips to boost the area’s coffers and job options.

’It’s about job training, real jobs, new income for the city, as well as 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 always to target the population that is visiting of District.’


Jerrels’ desire to attract and profit off tourists visiting the capital appears fine on paper. However, the reality is that few sightseers venture throughout the Anacostia River away from the downtown nationwide Mall area.

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

In accordance with data compiled from the US Census Bureau and FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Anacostia possesses 207 percent higher crime rate than the average that is national and a resident associated with the area features a one in 11 chance of becoming a victim of a nasty crime.

Neighborhood residents also do not appear too thrilled about bringing casino gambling to your community.

’It just generally seems to me personally that the intersection that has name that is such 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 said.

Many Obstacles to conquer

Numerous hurdles stay in Jerrels’ course before he can bring their proposal to ballot.

First, the D.C. Board of Elections must accept the effort during a hearing planned for might 4. Should 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 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 video clip slots at the same Anacostia location, but that measure failed.

Scott includes a checkered past when it comes down towards 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, it may be a compelling selling point that as long as video gaming is coming to the area anyhow, it might make sense to help keep those profits within city limits.

But the fee of bringing gambling to the city does not, at the minute, have widespread support. Gambling the way that is old-fashioned been illegal into the nation’s capital for decades, 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 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, recognized to have ties to golfer (and gambler) Phil Mickelson, has been facing costs of money laundering in A los angeles court. However now Silveriera, who had formerly plead guilty to your charges, wishes to change his plea to not.

The 56-year-old former sports handicapper from La Quinta, California a year ago 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 book.

Mickelson, who is recognized to have a fondness for gambling, is maybe not named in court documents or accused of any crime.

In March 2010, in accordance with court documents, Silveira received a wire transfer of $2.75 million from the customer into his own bank account. He then transferred $2.475 million, as well as the remaining $275,000, into two split bank accounts, both in his name.


In accordance with ESPN’s Outside the Lines (OTL), a show that focuses primarily on American sports issues ’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 about the initials, the prosecution had the document stricken from the records, filing an amended version the following day.

But now Silveira wants to withdraw their guilty plea, claiming that he was simply seeking to safeguard ’an person who did perhaps not wish his wagering activity to become general public.’ The ex-handicapper claims he had been offered bad advice by his previous protection lawyer.

Court documents filed 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 tuesday. This advice was incorrect.’

Duff adds into the court filing that the amount of money was not ’tainted’ and that Silveira had been merely paying off 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 situation, although when confronted about any of it directly with a journalist at last 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’re going to state things true; they are going to state things maybe not real,’ he stated. ’The fact is, I’m comfortable enough with whom I am as someone that I don’t feel like i want 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 details of a bet the two had made while sparring on the course. According to Ruffles, Mickelson offered him 2:1 on a $2,500 bet that the game would be won by him, but Mickelson lost by one shot. a disgruntled mickelson later said that the sum have been exaggerated.

Arizona Tribe Can Move Forward with Glendale Casino Expansion US that is following appeals Choice

The Desert Diamond West Valley Casino exposed 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 offer Class III games. (Image:

An Arizona tribe received the blessing regarding the US that is 9th Circuit of Appeals this week to expand its Glendale casino to include Class III gaming and integrate 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 right that is legal operate a casino on land that wasn’t under their ownership once the Indian community reached its gaming compact with Arizona in 2002.

The 9th Circuit Court rejected the state’s arguments and ruled, ’The Tohono O’odham Nation’s plan to build a casino and conduct Class III gaming on a certain parcel of land did not violate a gaming compact between the Nation and the State of Arizona in a unanimous decision. The Compact expressly authorizes Class III gaming ( table card games and slots) regarding the ’Indian Lands’ of the country.’

Decision Beneficial To Western Valley

Located less than 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 as a result of their own self-interests, as the two tribes run casinos in the Phoenix regions of Chandler and Scottsdale.

After many court decisions, the Tohono Nation was permitted to move forward with its Glendale resort.

To date, the West Valley place has just been permitted to offer Class II games. The classification is defined by the Arizona Department of Gaming as being ’limited to games or gambling devices in line with the game of bingo, and card games in which players perform just against one another, and the homely house cannot win.’

The lack of slots and other popular commercial casino games has resulted in the West Valley Casino being panned by site visitors. Bringing Class III variants to the casino floor should rejuvenate interest in the center, and, in turn, generate more significant revenues.