Racetrack Employee Admits Timing Payoff

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Danny Robertson, 63, Hershey, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg to wire fraud relating to providing false information to racing officials and the public.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, Robertson was an employee at the Penn National racetrack and worked as a clocker. His duties included being present at the racetrack when horses had their official workout. Robertson was responsible for verifying that the horse was the actual horse the trainer represented it to be, accurately recording the distance and the time the horse ran in and providing the information to racing officials for the official daily race program. Robertson also provided the workout time information by interstate wire via computer to Equibase, a Kentucky-based company that distributes information on a racehorse’s performance and workout times to organizations, media outlets and publications such as the Daily Racing Form, as well as on its own website.

Robertson was charged in an indictment presented on November 20, 2013. The count of the indictment to which Robertson pleaded guilty alleged that the workout time information is relied upon by the betting public in deciding which horse to wager on in any given race. Robertson admitted that in exchange for cash, he provided false workout times to racing officials and to Equibase. The times provided by Robertson as part of the fraud were inaccurate, or were completely fabricated for a horse that did not work out at all at the track. Robertson profited personally from the scheme, the betting public was defrauded and Robertson’s employer, Hollywood Casino and Racetrack, was denied its right to Robertson’s honest services.

Robertson pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Court Judge William W. Caldwell pursuant to a plea agreement with the government. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission. Prosecution was assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Behe.

Robertson faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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