You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Penn National Horse Trainer Convicted On Multiple Counts Of Misbranding Prescription Drugs On Race Day

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Penn National horse trainer Murray Rojas, 51, Grantville, Pennsylvania, was convicted of 14 felony counts of misbranding prescription drugs on race day and conspiracy. The crimes involved Rojas directing veterinarians to administer drugs to her horses on race day in violation of track rules and state law. The jury found her not guilty of seven counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The jury returned the verdicts on June 30, 2017, after one day of deliberation, and after an eight-day jury trial in Harrisburg before United States District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo.

 

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the conspiracy took place between 2002 and 2014, and involved 58 races. Rojas was convicted of conspiring with three veterinarians to have the drugs administered to horses on the day they were entered to race.

 

The evidence presented during the trial showed that steps were taken to conceal this conduct by backdating invoices for the sale and administration of drugs to the horses on race day, as well as the submission of fraudulent veterinarian treatment reports to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission.

 

The United States Attorney’s Office prosecuted several other individuals as part of this investigation in federal and state court, including:

  • Danny Robertson, the official clocker, charged with wire fraud, sentenced to one year probation and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine;

  • Craig Lytel, a racing official, charged with wire fraud, sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine;

  • Renée Nodine, veterinarian, charged with misbranding and conspiracy, awaiting sentencing;

  • Kevin Brophy, veterinarian, charged with misbranding and conspiracy, awaiting sentencing;

  • Fernando Motta, veterinarian, charged with misbranding and conspiracy, awaiting sentencing;

  • David Wells, owner and trainer, charged with rigging a publicly exhibited contest, sentenced on February 23, 2015, to three months’ imprisonment;

  • Patricia Rogers, trainer, charged with rigging a publicly exhibited contest, received an ARD in Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas;

  • Samuel Webb, trainer, charged with rigging a publicly exhibited contest, received an ARD in Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.

The case was investigated by the by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Horse Racing Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe prosecuted the case.

 

# # #

Updated July 5, 2017