Mother and Daughter Steal $700k in Bingo Proceeds

A team formed by mother and daughter were accused of stealing over $700k from bingo, pull-tab and carnival proceeds from Swoyersville Volunteer Hose Company 1, a fire company. They are scheduled to face trial on January 7th after its original date was postponed.

Catherine Drago, 81, and Carol Gamble, 50, were set for trial on Monday facing multiple charges of theft including theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition and criminal conspiracy.

Drago was involved in the company acting as treasurer while her daughter was president. In these positions, the mother-daughter team maintained total control the cash flow according to the prosecution. They didn't allow anyone to be involved with the financial aspects of the company and they were the only two people allowed to tally, bundle, transport or handle the money.

An audit conducted by the state Bureau of Charitable Organizations revealed that $734,748 of the company's revenue was unaccounted for. The timeframe that this cash was missing began in January 2004 until November 2007.

The audit also uncovered that Drago kept vague records which led to an admission that she falsified a public disclosure form.

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