Monday, July 21, 2014

Bingo theft trial delayed again

October 29. 2013 5:04PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Defense attorneys for a mother and daughter accused of stealing bingo proceeds have successfully gotten their trial rescheduled for a seventh time.

According to court documents, Luzerne County Judge Lesa Gelb has set a Feb. 24 trial date for Catherine Drago, 82, and Carol Gamble, 51.

Drago, of Forty Fort, and Gamble, of West Pittston, were charged in December 2008 with taking more than $700,000 collected during bingo games hosted by Swoyersville Volunteer Hose Co. No. 1 between January 2004 and September 2006, according to court papers.

In June, an attorney for Drago said he needed more time to look over bingo returns to give to an expert expected to testify at the trial. Gelb rescheduled the July 29 trial to begin on Monday, nearly three months later.

On Monday, Gelb granted another continuance.

Documents reveal that the women were charged after an investigation that began in 2005 with the state Bureau of Charitable Organizations.

Drago served as the hose company’s treasurer, while her daughter was president. Investigators say they took control of collecting and depositing money generated at bingo games that were held as fundraisers.

Continuations have delayed the trial for two years, including a rescheduling in March after Drago had a heart attack.

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