In 1920, Ohioan Warren Gamaliel Harding won election as president of the United States. As president, for the most part, Harding proved to be a poor manager of the federal government. He delegated authority to his cabinet officials. These men became known as the - Ohio gang, - because they supposedly were a gang of thieves from Ohio. In reality, most of the men linked to the Ohio gang were not from Harding's home state. Unfortunately for Harding and the country, many of the president's cabinet officials proved to be unscrupulous, causing a great deal of distrust among the American people of their government officials. It is unclear, however, how much Harding knew of his subordinates' actions.
Perhaps, the worst scandal of Harding's administration was the Teapot Dome Scandal, named for the Teapot Dome oilfield in Wyoming. Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall, a Kentuckian, rented government lands to oil companies in return for personal loans and gifts. The land in question existed in California and Wyoming. The federal government currently was holding oil under this land as a reserve for the United States Navy, but Fall decided to lease the land illegally to Mammoth Oil Company and to the Pan American Petroleum Company in return for the personal loans. In the end, Fall received approximately 404,000 dollars in loans or gifts from these two oil companies. Eventually the United States Senate launched an investigation of Fall's actions. He was found guilty of accepting money in return for the oil leases. Fall was convicted, fined 100,000 dollars and sentenced to one year in prison. The oilfields were returned to the United States Navy.