Four veterinarians have been charged with administering drugs to thoroughbred race horses within 24 hours of when the horse was entered to race at Penn National Race Track in Grantville, Pennsylvania.
Such conduct violates state criminal law prohibiting the rigging of publicly exhibited contests. Also, the administering of the drugs was done without a valid prescription and constituted misbranding of the prescription animal drugs in violation of federal law.
The alleged activity took place at various times beginning as early as 1986 and continuing up to August 2014.
Conspired with horse trainers
The charges include allegations that the defendants conspired with horse trainers to administer the drugs in violation of the laws and regulations governing thoroughbred racing.
The government also filed plea agreements with each of the four veterinarians in which they agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the United States in the continuing investigation. The plea agreements are subject to the approval of the court.
According to the charges, trainers allegedly placed orders for drugs and the defendants, after administering the drugs, backdated the billing records to avoid detection. The defendants allegedly submitted false veterinarian treatment reports to the State Horse Racing Commission, omitting from those reports any reference to the drugs administered to horses at the track on race day.
The potential to defraud
Their actions had the potential to defraud other owners and trainers whose horses were entered in the same race and defraud the betting public as well.
The defendants are Dr. Kevin Brophy, age 60, of Florida, Dr. Fernando Motta, 44, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Dr. Christopher Korte, 43, Pueblo, Colorado, and Dr. Renee Nodine, 52, Annville, Pennsylvania.
The maximum penalty in these cases under the federal statute is two years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $200,000 fine.
The matter is being investigated by the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, and the Pennsylvania State Police.
Indictments and criminal informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless found guilty in court. A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the federal sentencing guidelines.