Penn National Race Course Clocker Pleads Guilty
The Penn National Race Course clocker who was accused in November of taking bribes
to falsify workout times has pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge. Danny Robertson, 63, of Hershey, PA, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for dismissal of a sec ond charge of using an interstate facility to promote gambling and recommendation of a more lenient sentence. He faced up to 20 years in prison and up to $250.000 in fines.
As clocker, Robertson's job was to record the times of horses in pre-race workouts. The information was included in the track's daily racing program and provided to Equifax, which sub mitted it nationwide, including to the Daily Racing Form. U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith said that Robertson took cash to provide false workout times, and sometimes even reported "completely fabricated" statistics for horses that did not work out at all. "Robertson profited per sonally from the scheme, the betting public was defrauded and Robertson's employer ... was denied its right to Robert son's honest services," Smith said in a written statement on the guilty plea.
In exchange for a recommendation of a more lenient sentence from U.S. Attorney William
Behe and dismissal of any other charges (except for tax law vi olations), Robertson agreed to provide "all information known to the defendant regarding any criminal activity, including but
not limited to" those related to his indictment. Robertson agreed to submit to interviews by investigators and attorneys, to testify before grand juries, hearings and trials, and to take a polygraph exam ination "to determine whether the defendant has breached" the agreement.
Robertson was indicted along with three Penn Nation- al trainers in November. The charges against trainer Samuel Webb of Jonestown, PA were dropped after a judge concluded the government's allegations didn't support the attempted wire fraud and illegal use of an inter state facility charge.
Attorneys for Patricia Rogers of Hummelstown, PA are engaged in plea negotiations with the U.S. attorney and received a 60-day continuance on July 7. Her trial date has been set for September
8, should an agreement not be reached. She was charged with attempting to defraud bettors and, as the races were simulcast, committing wire fraud when she injected a horse, Strong Resolve, scheduled to race later that day, with an illegal substance on Au gust 21, 2013.
Attorneys for trainer David Wells of Grantville, PA, filed a motion on July 11 asking for more time to finalize an agree ment with the federal govern ment. His trial date has been rescheduled for November 3 should the agreement with prosecutors not be reached. Wells was charged with illegally injecting horses multiple times from 2008 until February 2012.
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