Sanborn Quits Amid Probe into $844k Pandemic Aid Misuse Scandal


A cloud of controversy encircles Representative Laurie Sanborn, who recently stepped down as the chairwoman of a legislative commission assigned to delve into the effects of new charitable gaming legislations. Her resignation came a day after implications in a probe investigating her husband’s alleged illegal utilization of $844,000 in pandemic aid.

Sanborn’s leadership of the commission had sparked debate due to her operational involvement in a Concord-based casino with her husband, Andy Sanborn, an erstwhile state senator. Documents procured from the Lottery Commission accuse the former senator of illicitly purchasing items with the appropriated pandemic aide, inclusive of an $80,000 Ferrari as a gift for his wife.

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General Attorney, John Formella, has escalated the case for potential criminal indictment to the District of New Hampshire’s United States Attorney’s Office. Additionally, Formella has instigated his own investigation into the matter.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department of the U.S seized more than $1.4 billion in COVID-19 relief funds as part of its nationwide crusade against pandemic fraud while pressing charges against over 3000 defendants. Similarly, the New Hampshire’s U.S. Attorney’s Office followed suit, announcing several charges and convictions related to pandemic-related fraud.

Despite attempts to reach Sanborn, the Bedford Republican serving her seventh term remained notably unreachable following the announcement of her resignation by House Speaker Sherman Packard. Packard, despite being queried, did not reveal whether he requested Sanborn’s resignation.

House Minority Leader, Matt Wilhelm urged the removal of Sanborn from her position as chairwoman of the House Ways and Means Committee, a committee responsible for deciding bills related to state taxes and spending. He applauded her resignation from the commission but deemed it necessary for her to step down from other assigned roles.

The Attorney General’s Office has announced that it will probe the manner in which Andy Sanborn and his company, Win Win Win, obtained and utilized a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan worth $844,000. The loan, specifically unavailable for gambling establishments, seems to have been acquired by Sanborn by disguising his business activities as “miscellaneous services.”

Further allegations suggest that Sanborn used the sheltered funds to procure personal luxuries such as two Porsche race cars and pay for 27 years of rent in advance for his casino. He is also suspected of using approximately $30,000 for developing a new casino in Concord and $20,000 to cover rent expenses.

The Lottery Commission has stepped in by moving to indefinitely restrict Sanborn and his company from possessing a casino license. Sanborn, despite the charges, stands resolute and exudes confidence in the transparency and legality of his actions.

The Justice Department of the U.S encourages the public to apprise the National Center for Disaster Fraud of any suspected misappropriation of pandemic assistance. Investigations into pandemic aid misuse have led to several convictions. As recently as February, a man from California was sentenced to a 41-month federal prison sentence for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud wherein he fraudulently secured CARES Act funds.

A New Hampshire native was similarly sentenced for attempting to fraudulently obtain pandemic assistance, resulting in a 28-month federal prison sentence. In another case, a man from Rochester faced multiple counts of wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft over his alleged misuse of pandemic assistance funds.