US Bingo Swindler Owes $6.4m

Bingo and crime are two words that we never like to see together. There is no justification for this wonderful social game ever to see people become victims. But the sad fact of the matter is that fraudsters will always seize upon an opportunity to steal money from potential victims. In this particular story, it is difficult to comprehend how a US fraudster managed to swindle more than $925,000 in bingo profits from charity groups.

Back on 4 November, eight jurors of found a man named Kendall Clemons guilty of stealing charitable bingo profits. In finding the accused guilty, it was also determined that he should pay damages to the amount of $6,412,500, which equates to approximately £4 million. The jury only required 50 minutes before reaching their unanimous verdict.

Others Also Paying Damages

Since the start of the trial, Kendall Clemons was the lone defendant. Six other defendants had been expected to participate, but decided to accept a collective deal so as to avoid paying punitive damages in the trial. Among the six were Kendall’s husband plus five others associated with Tyger All Sports Booster Club. Altogether, they have agreed to repay $926,250, which equates to approximately £585,000.

Kendall Clemons and her six associates had been operating bingo games throughout Mansfield, which is a city situated in the US state of Ohio. They had been tasked by charitable organisations to operate bingo games on their behalf. And there was absolutely no confusion in the arrangement, with all games being of a charitable nature.

All of this is to say that Clemons and her associates were legally required to hand over 100% of the proceeds to charitable causes. But that never happened, as Clemons instead chose to divert much of the revenue away from the charities she was supposed to be helping.

In what was a morally reprehensible act, Clemons used the money to pay her associates between $50 and $120 each for the nights that the bingo games were hosted, as well as profiting herself. Although those amounts might seem small, over time they added to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Multiple Charities Affected

When reading through the list of charities affected, it is simply astonishing that Clemons that held the charities and the people they represent in such low regard. During the trial, jurors were informed that Clemons had stolen more than $925,000 from charities in the Mansfield area.

One of the worst affected was the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Museum, which lost $333,000. Looking to some of the other charities, American Legion Post 16 and the Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center each lost out on thousands of dollars for their respective causes.

Another awful act occurred when Clemons and her associates took more than $250,000 from a scholarship fund that had been intended to provide aspiring students with much-needed financial support. Thankfully, all of this has been resolved in what was a relatively swift trial. We can only hope that others will avoid bingo and charities in the future.

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