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Published: Friday, 4/28/2006

Seized funds distributed to 2 area entities

Toledo Children's Hospital and Serenity Farm Equestrian Center in Luckey, Ohio, were two of 82 entities that recently were given a share of $5 million in seized gambling proceeds through the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

The children's hospital was given $75,000 and the farm was granted $10,000.

Debra DeHoff of Serenity Farm said the funds will go toward a pilot program that will use horses and dogs to help children with poor grades, behavioral problems, or truancy.

A spokesman for the hospital was unable to say how its award would be used.

The attorney general was given the authority to disburse the funds to state charities and other entities that provide medical and therapeutic services to people who are born with birth defects or have mental or physical disabilities.

The money was available after an investigation of Child Care Foundation Inc., an Ohio charity, resulted in the recovery of $4.8 million in gambling proceeds in 2002, which increased to $5 million after the money was placed in an interest-bearing account.

The individuals running the scheme sold instant bingo tickets throughout Ohio with the promise the money would go to help people with disabilities, but illegally diverted the money to themselves.

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