Chester County judge accused of using campaign donations for gambling trips

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Friday, October 9, 2020
Chester Co. judge accused of using donations for gambling
The 59-year-old is charged with taking $4,000 in donations to his re-election campaign.

WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A Chester County district judge is accused of using money from his campaign for gambling at local casinos.

Investigators said Michael Cabry III was arrested Wednesday.

In a criminal complaint, the 59-year-old is charged with taking $4,000 in donations to his re-election campaign, and using those funds while on gambling trips.

According to the complaint, "Cabry's illegal purchases include several withdrawals made at casinos in three states and filed as reimbursements to Cabry in his campaign finance records."

The allegations include:

  • An ATM withdrawal of $205 at Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County, PA
  • An ATM withdrawal of $205.99 at Harrah's Casino in Chester County, PA
  • A withdrawal of $204.99 at Delaware Park Casino in Wilmington, DE
  • Three separate withdrawals totaling $751.98 in Ventnor, NJ, and Bally's Casino in Atlantic City, NJ
  • A withdrawal of $200 at Dover Downs Casino in Dover, DE
  • A payment of $489.00 at a hotel in Dover, DE, on the same day as the withdrawal at Dover Downs

Cabry has been charged with theft and election code violations.

"Judge Cabry broke the law and undermined public trust in government by using campaign contributions for his own benefit, " Attorney General Shapiro said in a press release. "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."

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 26.

Cabry has served as a district judge in Chester County since the year 2000.