Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Former banker at Milan plays horses, sick wife tries to regain fortune

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, August 22, 1930.

“He wanted cold cash instead of a permanent income. But the bookmakers took it all.”

This was the comment of an intimate friend of Milton H. Hack, former cashier of the Farmers and Merchants Bank whose wife, Mrs. Lucy Hack is suing a Toledo bookmaking establishment for $150,000 which she claims her husband squandered on horse races. Mrs. Hack is living with her sister-in-law, Mrs. G. A. Dennison, here, and is ill; while her husband, who was here Tuesday, had to borrow money for gasoline to return to Toledo where he is living alone in a cheap lodging house.

Benjamin Aranoff is named as defendant in the suit.

Mr. Hack, once considered one of the most promising business men in Milan, belongs to a pioneer Washtenaw County family. He played the horses’ first for amusement and then went into it as a business. He resigned his position here five years ago “for the good of the bank” and his fortune melted away until last year he sold his last block of stock. Last April a 43,500 mortgage on the home here was foreclosed by the Monroe County Savings Bank of Dundee. Arthur C. Stevens, Milan business man purchased it for $5,500.

“His father, who founded the bank, left an estate of nearly a million. Milt sold out his share to James, his brother, who lives on the outskirts of town, and to Mrs. Dennison. He wanted cold cash instead of a permanent income. But the bookmakers too it all,” a former associate said.

Miss Hack who filed her suit in common pleas court in Toledo, O., through W. W. Campbell, Milan attorney, seeks a judgment under the Ohio law which provides that six months after the last loss is suffered, the wife or heirs may seek a judgment against the gambling house proprietor if the loser himself has not filed suit. Hack has not made any attempt to collect by means of the courts.

The suit names Aranoff, the Security-Home Trust Co., and the Reuben Realty Co., all of Toledo, as co-defendants. The law specifies that the property owner is accountable along with the gambling house proprietor.

“We will charge that the bookmaking establishment worked Hack as a greenhorn—deliberately swindled him of the major part of his fortune,” declared Campbell. “They had cleaned him by the first of this year. We have checks indorsed by Aranoff showing that the losses reached as high as $3,000 daily.

“We’re not willing at this time to reveal what the frauds were, but it may be said that Hack didn’t have a chance, and that his money was as good as gone when he put it up on the races. We don’t know where he is today, or what he is doing.”

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