O.R.I.

Case Studies of Interest

 

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.

 

September 2014 PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN

 

 

 

 

Organization of Racing Investigators, Inc.

1510 Newtown Pike - Suite 200, Lexington, Kentucky 40511

ori@racingintelnetwork.com