Thursday, July 30, 2015

Former Pa. racetrack worker admits faking horse workout times

File photo: Penn National Race Course website.
File photo: Penn National Race Course website.

A former employee of the Penn National Race Course in Grantville admitted Tuesday to falsifying horse workout times.

Danny L. Robertson, 63, of Hershey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge William Caldwell to an indictment charging him with one court of wire fraud.

Prosecutors said Robertson worked at the racetrack as a clocker, watching horses complete their official workouts and providing information about their performances to racing officials and to Equibase, a company that distributes the statistics to media outlets and publications for the betting public's consumption.

Between 2008 and October 2013, Robertson provided inaccurate workout times and, in at least one instance, fabricated performance information for a horse that did not work out at the track, at all.

Prosecutors said he did so in exchange for cash bribes from the horses’ trainers, who are not named in court documents.

The false information Robertson furnished "nationally affect[ed] the betting public's ability to make informed decisions on wagering," the indictment states.

He was charged in November 2013 with wire fraud and using an interstate facility to promote gambling in violation of state law. The latter charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Robertson faces a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

The FBI’s Harrisburg resident agency, the Pennsylvania State Police and the state Horse Racing Commission conducted the investigation. The case was prosecuted by assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Behe, of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.
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