(RepublicanView.org) – Former Republican Indiana state representative Sean Eberhart pleaded guilty to fraud after accepting a position with a salary of $350,000 to support a bill favoring a casino.
Eberhart, 57, was offered the lucrative position in exchange for assisting Spectacle Entertainment in relocating two casinos that it purchased to another part of the state. Indiana’s legislature paused its approval of the move four years ago. Eberhart successfully influenced the approval of the move. He was also able to lobby for tax incentives and other benefits.
The case against Eberhart was largely fueled by the discovery of incriminating digital assets. Several text messages confirmed the conspiracy between Eberhart and Spectacle Entertainment. Other images showcasing documents between the two parties and recordings obtained covertly were presented as evidence as well.
Eberhart’s sentence has not been set yet. However, he has been ordered to pay restitution equating to his annual government salary, $60,000. He must also pay a $100 court fee when the sentence is issued. Similar charges often include fines up to $250,000 and five years of imprisonment. A sentencing date has not yet been announced.
The bribery also adds to a long list of legal issues facing Spectacle Entertainment, including federal investigations. John Keeler, one of the company’s executives, was found guilty of illegally using money obtained from gambling to fund the congressional campaign of Senator Brent Waltz (R-IN). Keeler, who had previously served as a lawmaker, received a two-month sentence in federal prison and had to pay a $55,000 fine.
The company also reportedly looked to Rep. Jerry Torr (R-IN) for closing services and title insurance when it bought casinos back in 2018. Torr later voted for the approval of a bill that would have let the company move the casinos to more profitable locations.
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