A New Hampshire casino owned by a former state senator accused of buying luxury cars with a fraudulently obtained COVID-19 relief loan will be shut down Jan. 1 but allowed to reopen in six months if sold to a new owner, the state lottery commission said in a decision made public on Thursday. The commission tried in August to permanently revoke Andy Sanborn’s gaming operator’s license, but he appealed the decision and requested a hearing before an independent examiner. That hearing was held earlier this month, and a decision was issued Wednesday. Sanborn, owns the Concord Casino within The Draft Sports Bar and Grill in Concord and was seeking to open a much larger charitable gaming venue a few miles away. But the commission argued that his license should be revoked because he improperly obtained federal funds, misrepresented how he spent the money, paid himself large sums as rent and failed to keep accurate records overall. According to the investigation, Sanborn fraudulently obtained $844,000 in funding from the Small Business Administration between December 2021 and February 2022. Casinos and charitable gaming facilities weren’t eligible for such loans, but Sanborn omitted his business name, “Concord Casino,” from his application and listed his primary business activity as “miscellaneous services,” officials said. He’s accused of spending $181,000 on two Porsche race cars and $80,000 on a Ferrari for his wife. Sanborn also paid himself more than $183,000 for what he characterized as rent for his Concord properties, investigators said. Sanborn’s claim that the cars were not purchased with the loan. His lawyer had argued that the state’s entire case was built on a sloppy investigation and unproven allegations about the COVID-19 relief loan.
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