District Judge Arrested for Gambling with Campaign Money

Magesterial District Judge Michael J. Cabry III was arrested Tuesday for allegedly using campaign funds to gamble at casinos in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The criminal complaint against him was filed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

Cabry Is Facing Multiple Counts

According to the criminal complaint filed by Special Agent Paul Dormer, 59-year-old Cabry of West Caln is alleged to have used $4,000 from donations to his 2017 re-election campaign to finance gambling trips to Atlantic City,  Harrisburg and Dover, as well as other casino prominent locations. Michael Cabry was charged with one felony count of theft by unlawful taking, one count of perjury, one of misdemeanor, and four violations of campaign finance laws.

“Judge Cabry broke the law and undermined public trust in government by using campaign contributions for his own benefit. Restricting how campaign money can be used helps prevent corruption. As a candidate and public official, Judge Cabry had a duty to serve with integrity and uphold the law, instead he took advantage of the trust placed in him by supporters and the public.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Official press release

In reality, Cabry wagered in excess of $110,000, but as he got lucky with a large six-figure win at Delaware Park, his total losses were slightly over $9,000. Yet, by that time, Cabry’s finances were severely depleted, Agent Dormer states in the complaint.

Suspicious Transactions in Bank Record

Agent Dormer found copies of campaign finance reports and bank records at multiple places inside Cabry’s house, during a search warrant executed 3 years after the campaign had finished. When reviewing these reports, Agent Dormer came across several expenditures listed as reimbursements to Cabry himself.

Some of these were at ATM withdrawals at the Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County and Harrah’s casino in Chester, Delaware County. There were numerous similar withdrawals documented by the expense report Cabry filed, taking place at Delaware Park Casino, Bally’s in Atlantic City and the Dover Downs Casino in Delaware.

A review of his bank records showed several debits for the period June 2017 to September 2017, yet he filed no campaign reports. Among the bank transactions, there were purchases of groceries, dry cleaner services and restaurant and hotel bills. Judging by the account statements, Cabry used to visit Delaware Park once a week, and on some occasions even more often.

Cabry was forbidden from entering the Honey Brook court premises as, on Tuesday, Chester County President Judge John Hall signed an order to restrict his access. He was also told to turn over access badges and office keys and his cases were re-assigned to other district judges.

Michael Cabry will have a preliminary hearing before Senior Magisterial District Judge Leonard J. Brown of Bucks County, scheduled for October 26.

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