Man charged for unlawful expenditures on Humane Society account

Published 7:56 pm Thursday, May 24, 2018

An Albert Lea man who allegedly made more than $6,400 in unlawful expenditures from the Humane Society of Freeborn County’s gambling account over more than six months has been charged with a felony in Freeborn County District Court.

Ryan Robert Arbuckle Sr., 40, is charged with unlawful gambling expenditures and gross misdemeanor unlawful gambling expenditure. His first appearance on the charges was Thursday.

Court documents state Arbuckle was charged after he allegedly made unlawful expenditures from the gambling account of the Humane Society from Sept. 1, 2016, to April 28, 2017.

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The case was reportedly investigated by a special agent with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division after a referral by the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

A Department of Revenue audit of the Humane Society in August 2016 noted concerns of employees unlawfully playing pulltab games, forging prize receipts and suspected misuse of gambling funds.

Arbuckle was gambling manager at the Humane Society. The audit allegedly found he failed to keep receipts or document expenditures from the gambling account.

Arbuckle reportedly made more than $5,400 of unlawful expenditures from the gambling account from Sept. 1, 2016, to Feb. 27, 2017. He allegedly made more than $1,000 of unauthorized expenditures from March 1, 2017, to April 28, 2017.

In an interview with the agent in May 2017, Arbuckle allegedly said he did not have receipts for expenses taken from the gambling account and said a Minnesota Department of Revenue employee told him he did not have to keep receipts for the purchases, a claim the employee later denied, court documents state.

Arbuckle reportedly said gas expenditures were for trips to pick up animals for the shelter but admitted he did not have documentation showing he picked up the animals.

Judge Steven Schwab released Arbuckle on his own recognizance, contingent on him not leaving Minnesota without written court approval, having no mind-altering chemicals, submitting to random testing and not entering bars or liquor stores.

Arbuckle’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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