02/03/2012 12:36PM

Calder: Former superintendant charged with defrauding track


Federal prosecutors in Florida have charged the former superintendent of Calder Race Course in Miami with fraud for his alleged participation in a kickback scheme that could have cost the track as much as $4.5 million over a decade, according to an indictment released Thursday by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

The indictment alleges that Steven Cross, the superintendent at Calder from 1992 to 2008, conspired with the owners of several Florida companies to submit fake invoices to Calder for services and supplies that were never delivered. Cross and the owners would then split the proceeds from the bills, the indictment states, under a scheme that allegedly dated back to 1998.

Cross is being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, along with tax evasion. The two counts carry a maximum combined sentence of 25 years. Prosecutors are also seeking restitution for the total amount that was allegedly stolen.

The indictment says that Cross was responsible for the maintenance of Calder’s racing surfaces and its backside. Many of the fake invoices were for delivery of herbicides and fungicides, the indictment says, along with janitorial and maintenance services.