NH Attorney General: Concord Casino owner Andy Sanborn fraudulently used COVID loan to support lavish lifestyle

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Andy and Laurie Sanborn
Andy Sanborn and his wife, current Rep. Laurie Sanborn, said they decided to open Concord Casino because they wanted to find a way to give back to the community. Photo/Geoff Forester

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CONCORD, NH – Concord Casino owner Andy Sanborn fraudulently used a COVID-19 loan to support his lavish lifestyle, including cash payments disguised as rent, the purchase of two Porsches for himself and a Ferrari for his wife Laurie. As a result, he is unsuitable to be associated with charitable gaming in the state, according to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission and Attorney General’s Office.

“This case highlights the importance of law enforcement’s role in keeping illegal activity out of New Hampshire’s charitable gaming industry,” Attorney General John Formella said in a statement. “Our obligation to protect the public demands that we take action against any person who is found to have used their regulated casino to enrich themselves with fraudulently obtained taxpayer funds.”

Specifically, Sanborn obtained $844,000 in a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the Small Business Association, which casinos were specifically ineligible to receive, according to the state agencies.

To get around that, Sanborn left out the registered trade name for his business “Concord Casino” on his SBA application and characterized the business activity as “miscellaneous,” according to the Attorney General.

Documents obtained by the Attorney General’s Civil Law Bureau “contain evidence indicating Mr. Sanborn’s knowing and willful execution of a scheme and artifice to defraud the United States Small Business Administration.” 

The Attorney General’s Office and Lottery Commission also found evidence of “extravagant personal spending” by Sanborn and his wife, State Rep. Laurie Sanborn using the proceeds from the SBA loan. 

This spending included:

■$181,250 for two Porsche 987 Cayman S race cars for Sanborn

■$80,000 for a 2008 F430 Ferrari for Laurie Sanborn

■$45,000 in auto parts purchases and services

■$183,500 is cash payments to himself disguised as rent

■$28,800 in engineering and consulting services for his proposal to the Concord Planning Board to build a new casino near the end of Loudon Road.

The Lottery Commission is moving to immediately revoke Sanborn’s facility license and game operator employer license. Sanborn has 10 days to appeal. 

The Attorney General has referred the matter to the United States Attorney’s Office for possible criminal prosecution.

Recently, Rep. Laurie Sanborn was appointed to lead a 13-person commission that looks into gaming laws in the state, including whether charities are getting a fair share of the revenue and if casinos are operating within the laws. 

The Sanborns also received approval from the city of Concord in June to build another casino spanning 43,000 square feet at the end of Loudon Road. However, the approval is being challenged in court by residents who say the public was deprived of its due process rights when the board passed the project without adequate notice.
 


These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org. 

About this Author

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan covers energy, environment and mental health stories at the Concord Monitor