July 11, 2024 3 min read

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Former Indiana Lawmaker Sentenced to Prison in Casino Corruption Scandal

Sean Eberhart was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on Wednesday this week

A former legislator in Indiana was recently sentenced to one year in prison after agreeing to help a casino operator with favorable conditions in exchange for a future well-paid position with the company. The criminal case involves Sean Eberhart, a former lawmaker who was a representative for Indiana House District 57. Overall, he held the role for 16 years until November 2022.

On Wednesday, Eberhart was sentenced by US District Court Judge Matthew Brookman to one year and one day in prison, as announced by the Indianapolis Star. The prison sentence follows a guilty plea of the Indiana state rep dating back to November.

At the time, Eberhart pleaded guilty to “conspiring with others to solicit and receive the promise of future, lucrative employment with a gaming company in exchange for his support of legislation beneficial” to a gaming operator.

As a part of the guilty plea, Eberhart agreed to pay $60,000 in restitution to Indiana. The aforementioned sum represents approximately the remuneration he was paid annually as a legislator with the state.

Besides the prison term, the former politician was also sentenced to one year of probation after his release. He will also have to pay a $25,000 fine.

Considering that Judge Brookman sentenced Eberhart to one year and one day in prison, this means that the lawmaker may be eligible for a reduction of the time he serves. Sentences above one year in Indiana are subject to a good-time credit. This can ultimately reduce the time the lawmaker spends in prison by up to 15%.

Per the charges against him, Eberhart initially faced up to five years in prison as well as a fine of up to $250,000. However, a lenient sentence was considered in light of the lawmaker’s guilty plea.

The Former Lawmaker Was Tangled in a Corruption Scandal

The recent sentence comes after a massive casino corruption scandal dating back a few years ago. In late 2018 and early 2019, Spectacle Entertainment, a gaming operator, was after purchasing two casinos on Lake Michigan with the intention of relocating them to more lucrative areas. The company sought to relocate one of the casinos to western Indiana and the other one to Gary.

Eberhart’s involvement revolved around his support as a legislator for the relocation of the two casinos. In exchange for this support, the lawmaker was promised a lucrative role with the company that was expected to have an annual remuneration of $350,000.

Besides supporting the relocation Eberhart allegedly played a key role in the reduction of transfer fees by $80 million. Although initially, the fee was at $100 million, Eberhart supported legislation that reduced the fee to $20 million and also pushed different tax incentives to the benefit of Spectacle.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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