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More than $60,000 donated to a charity to save horses from slaughter was instead used for gambling, shopping, meals and other personal expenses, authorities in New Jersey, USA, allege.

Prosecutors claim at least $61,422 in donations to NJ Horse Angels were misappropriated by the charity’s two trustees, 54-year-old Sharon Catalano-Crumb and 55-year-old Frank Wikoff.

They say the pair used internet social networking sites to raise about $145,000 between September 2009 and September 2010, claiming to be preventing horses bought at auction from ending up in Canadian and Mexican pet food factories.

NJ Horse Angels had more than 4,900 registered friends on one social networking website.

Although some funds were used to rescue, transport and care for horses, it’s alleged that Catalano-Crumb spent at least $60,000 on trips to Atlantic City casinos, shopping, meals, jewelry for Wikoff and on sending cash to her son, currently serving a life sentence at Trenton State Prison.

The case was lodged in the Superior Court of New Jersey on 2 December and will be heard next year.