A man has admitted falsifying workout times for racehorses at a Pennsylvania track following a multi-agency investigation.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said Danny Robertson, 63, of Hershey, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in the United States District Court in Harrisburg to wire fraud relating to providing false information to racing officials and the public.
Robertson faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine at sentence.
United States Attorney Peter Smith said 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 and providing the information to racing officials for the official daily racing 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 last year.
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 admitted the wire fraud before Senior US District Court Judge William Caldwell pursuant to a plea agreement with the government.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Harrisburg Resident Agency, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission. Prosecution was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney William Behe.