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San Diego's Former Mayor Makes Deal Over Gambling Losses

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By Paul Johnson

San Diego, California (CNN) - The former mayor of San Diego has agreed to pay back more than two-million-dollars to her deceased husband's charitable foundation. Maureen O'Connor's husband, the founder of Jack in the Box and Southern California First National Bank, died in 1994. She says she began to heavily gamble in 2001 and borrowed money from her husband's foundation. O'Connor's attorney says a brain tumor was affecting her ability to make good judgment.
"She played video poker on machines that were programmed to pay out 80-percent of the money that was put in, so that the more you play, the more you lose. And she played a great deal and ended up losing a net amount over a decade of over 13-million-dollars. Now, this was not, we think, simply a psychiatric problem or a character logical defect because there is substantial evidence that during this same time, there was a tumor growing in her brain in the centers of the brain that effect and control logic, reasoning, and most importantly judgment." According to court documents, she won more than one-billion-dollars in a nine year span ... but lost it all and millions more.
In her deal with federal prosecutors, O'Connor agreed to get treatment for gambling addiction, pay back two-million dollars to the foundation and settle all tax liabilities related to the cash she took.
If she doesn't, she could face ten years in prison.


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