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Former Louisiana Senator charged for gambling with campaign money

The U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana has charged Former Louisiana State Senator, Karen Carter Peterson with misappropriation and diversion of campaign funds for personal use.

The 52-year-old former legislator, as the Democratic chairperson, signed several checks to close friends and associates claiming to be campaign-related. But all the money ended up returning to her in cash to support her gambling activities.

Investigations by the Department of Justice noted that this has been going on for over 7-years. Part of the accusations includes filing false and incorrect campaign funds reports.

According to a statement on her verified Twitter handle, Peterson noted that she has returned the money she took from the funds set aside for the campaign.

“I have made full repayment of funds used because of my addiction and I will continue to make amends. Staying true to the steps of my ongoing recovery, I have been forthright, honest, and fully cooperative with the US Attorneys’ Office in their investigation.”

Peterson’s hearing continues on August 1, if convicted she could be jailed for up to 20 years, and a possible fine of $250,000.

Peterson’s lawyer, Brian Capitelli, in a press statement noted that his client has for a long time made it clear that she’s battling gambling addictions and depression.

“She is sincerely remorseful for her compulsive behaviour resulting from this addiction and has made full repayment of funds used because of her addiction. She has been forthright, honest, and cooperative with the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in their investigation.”

She resigned from the senate in April where she has served for over a decade. She wrote an emotional speech where she disclosed that she was resigning to focus on her mental health and general well-being.

“As many of you know, I’ve suffered from depression and a gambling addiction for many years. What you may not know over the past few years, I participated in and received successfully, in-patient and outpatient treatment for depression and addiction.”

She further noted that she will seek forgiveness from God and make her path right.
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