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Horse trainer facing federal wire fraud charges

A prominent Pennsylvania horse trainer has been accused of serious criminal acts in connection to the animals she sent to a 2013 race. The 49-year-old trainer faces federal charges, including conspiracy and wire fraud, based on allegations that she acted to improperly influence the outcome of a race held at Penn National Race Course. The investigation leading to those charges is the result of the combined efforts of the FBI and Pennsylvania's Horse Racing Commission.  

The trainer is accused of conspiring with multiple veterinarians to administer drugs to horses that were entered into 11 races at the event. Pennsylvania law and racing rules and regulations prohibit the administrations of such substances. The trainer is also accused of backdating invoices that show the sale of those drugs, and altering veterinarian records showing treatment histories for the horses entered in the races.

Horse racing is a highly regulated industry, and the authorities take violations of law in this area very seriously. The fair and proper treatment of the horses that compete in these races is a primary factor in those regulations. In addition, actions that unduly influence the outcome of horse racing can affect those who place bets on these events, which is unfair. When the legitimacy of a race outcome is called into question, the entire industry suffers, and pressure is placed on authorities to determine the responsible parties. 

It is alleged that the Pennsylvania trainer received more than $50,000 in winnings based on the races in which drugs may have been administered. Should she be convicted on the fraud and conspiracy  charges, she could face serious punitive measures, including 20 years in prison for each of the five counts. Probation and fines are also possible outcomes if a conviction is obtained.  

Source: westmorelandtimes.com, "Pennsylvania horse trainer indicted on wire fraud charges", Aug. 13, 2015

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