Humane Society suspends gambling manager following charges

Published 2:34 pm Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Humane Society of Freeborn County is looking to move on and focus on the animals after one of its employees was charged for unlawful expenditures last month.

Ryan Arbuckle Sr., 40, is charged with making more than $6,400 in unlawful expenditures from the Humane Society’s gambling account over more than six months. He has been charged with unlawful gambling expenditures and gross misdemeanor unlawful gambling expenditure and pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.

The Humane Society’s gambling account is separate from the shelter’s general fund and donations.

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The gambling account provides an extra revenue source for the shelter, but the organization plans to close the account for reasons unrelated to the charges Arbuckle faces.

Christy Foreman, president of the Humane Society board, said the organization has received “some negative publicity on it, but I don’t think it’s as bad as we thought it was going to be, but any bad publicity is bad for us.”

“It was extra money that could have helped us,” said Robyn Joel, Humane Society fundraising coordinator, of the gambling funds.

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

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 on the gambling fund in August 2016 noted concerns of employees unlawfully playing pulltab games, forging prize receipts and suspected misuse of gambling funds.

The Minnesota Gambling Control Board did not bring charges relating to the concerns, Joel said.

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.

Arbuckle was suspended the week after the Humane Society learned of the charges May 3.

Foreman said the shelter is “150 percent committed,” to the donations it receives.

“The community’s really good about supporting us with supplies,” she said.

Foreman said she was unsure of Arbuckle’s situation.

“Ryan did do a lot of good down here when he was here, but I just don’t know what happened there,” she said.

About Sam Wilmes

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

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