Former US Senator Charged For Allegedly Using Campaign Money for Gambling

During her time as Senator, Peterson was influential in passing various pieces of gambling legislation

by - Friday, July 15th, 2022 11:00

Gambling industry legal action

According to a statement released by Louisiana US Attorney Duane A. Evans, former State Senator Karen Carter Peterson has been charged with wire fraud and using campaign money to fund gambling.
Peterson was influential in passing gambling legislation during her time as Senator

Peterson, who has been vocal about her battles with gambling addiction, has agreed to a plea deal for the charge of wire fraud admitting that she used the campaign money for personal expenses which included gambling-related activities.

It’s alleged that over a period of seven years, Peterson wrote checks from a campaign account to associates and friends. These would then be cashed and the money returned to Peterson. The state prosecutor has also alleged that, while Louisiana Democratic Party chair, Peterson wrote checks to several companies who provided minimal services and that cash from those checks was also returned to Peterson.

Peterson served as a member of the Louisiana State House from 1999 to 2010. She was then a state senator until her resignation on April 9th, 2022.

If convicted, Peterson could face a maximum prison term of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. A prison term would also include a three-year supervised release.

Although Peterson has agreed to a plea deal, it’s unclear as it whether or not the deal will include prison time.

When Peterson steeped down from her role as State Senator, Peterson admitted that she had struggled with gambling addiction. This had previously been revealed in 2019 when she had received a court summons for violating a self-imposed ban on visiting casinos. At that time she had entered the L’Auberge Baton Rouge despite being on the property’s self-exclusion list.

During her time working on the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee, Peterson is said to have played an influential role in having gambling legislation passed. This included bills on sports betting, rules for video poker, online daily fantasy sports games, and the relocation of water-based casinos to land.

Jenny Tang

An experienced iGaming commentator and analyst based in New York City - Jenny reports on regulation and gambling industry news and events.

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