Local Official Sentenced for Misusing Funds at Plainridge Park Casino
Posted on: October 3, 2023, 12:22h
Last updated on: October 3, 2023, 12:22h
A Massachusetts official has been sentenced to three years’ probation for using condo funds to support her gambling habit at Plainridge Park Casino.
Cheryl S. Sullivan, former chairperson of the Dedham, Mass. Board of Tax Assessors, was sentenced for federal wire fraud after it was discovered she embezzled $49,156 from the River Island Condominium Association in Woonsocket, R.I.
If she completes her probation successfully, she will avoid further penalties.
Investigations revealed that Sullivan used the association’s debit card to withdraw cash at Plainridge Park Casino 58 times between January and November 2019. She resorted to using the association card when her personal debit card was not accepted by the ATM.
During this period, Sullivan gambled at the casino 176 times.
Although she repaid around half of the stolen money, it remains unclear whether it was used for gambling or other expenses at Plainridge Park.
Sullivan was arrested on January 31, 2022, and faced five counts of wire fraud in Providence, R.I. federal court. She initially pleaded not guilty but later agreed to a reduced charge of wire fraud in a plea deal.
During the case review, it was noted that Sullivan worked as a property manager at the condominium and has experience as a real estate broker and tax preparer. As chairperson of the Dedham Board of Tax Assessors, she held a public official position overseeing the valuation of real estate and personal property for taxation purposes in the town.
Due to her lack of prior criminal records and her remorse, Sullivan was given probation instead of a more severe sentence.
According to Sullivan’s attorney, Kevin Fitzgerald, a Providence, R.I. public defender, “She’s a good person who made a serious mistake and is deeply remorseful.”
The investigation into these allegations was carried out by the FBI and local police departments.
Plainridge Park Casino, owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn Entertainment, offers harness racing and slot machines. It is situated approximately 35 miles south of Boston and is one of the three full-service casinos in Massachusetts.