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Head of charity charged with fraud

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A federal grand jury has indicted the head of a St. Louis charity on 22 counts of mail fraud.

Authorities say Carl Sengheiser, who ran Gateway to a Cure, set up fake raffles and pocketed most of the proceeds. The charity was established to raise money for spinal cord research.

U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway says of nearly $2 million raised in four raffles of homes and luxury cars, only $38,000 went for research. She says Sengheiser used some of the money to pay his mortgage and personal credit cards.

Hanway also says the charity never had title to many of the prizes, and three of the drawings were never held.

Each mail fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years per count and fines up to $250,000.