03/27/2015 3:16PM

Criminal charges filed against four veterinarians in Pennsylvania


The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania filed criminal charges Thursday in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg against four veterinarians for allegedly administering drugs to horses at Penn National within 24 hours of the horse being scheduled to race.

The alleged activity took place between 1986 and August 2014. The defendants allegedly conspired with horse trainers, whose identities are “known to the United States,” to administer the drugs in violation of the laws, rules, and regulations governing Thoroughbred racing.

The veterinarians are Kevin Brophy, 60, of Florida; Fernando Motta, 44, of Lancaster, Pa.; Christopher Korte, 43, of Colorado; and Renee Nodine, 52, of Annville, Pa.

The government has filed plea agreements with each of the veterinarians in which they have agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the U.S. in the continuing investigation. The plea agreements are subject to the approval of the court.

The charges against the veterinarians follow the 2013 federal indictments of Penn National trainers David Wells, Sam Webb, and Patricia Ann Rogers.

Wells pleaded guilty in February as part of a plea deal to one charge of rigging a publicly exhibited contest and will serve three months in jail, be on probation for four years, and pay a $5,000 fine. Wells originally was indicted for conspiring to fix races and administering illegal substances to horses on race day from 2009 to 2013.

The case against Webb was thrown out of federal court. The case against Rogers is ongoing.

The charges filed against the four veterinarians state that trainers allegedly placed orders for drugs, and the veterinarians administered the drugs and backdated the billing records to avoid detection. The veterinarians also allegedly submitted false treatment reports to the Pennsylvania Racing Commission, omitting any reference to the drugs that were administered to the horses on race day.

The maximum penalty in these cases is two years imprisonment, followed by supervised release, plus a $2,000 fine.

The charges are being investigated by the Harrisburg office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Racing Commission, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Robert Snyder More than 1 year ago
Scott Lake should be band for life. Another of Penns. down fall!!
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Well said Robert Synder, but there has been a massive cover up and protection, by the Elite Blue Blood Breeders of Horse Racing world wide, who have secretly been practicing as self Governing Masonic body, for the past 30 years. Finally Penn has been unveiled, FROM 1986 TO 2014 WOW, but notice AS YOU SAY, Scott Lake and others like Todd Pletcher, Bob Baffert, D Wayne Lukas etc Steve Assmussen (Scott Balasi) and list goes on and on, HAVE BEEN and still are protected from this digusting behaviour, of using illegal schedule 7 drugs on their horses. Just imagine about the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Breeders Cup, even the Dubai World Cup races and other International winners, for the past 30 years or so, who won and or placed etc on the forbidden drugs of destruction - drug testing well compromised by the power of them being a self Governing Masonic body, obviously from 1979 known as the secret Interstate Act of 1978, allowed the above to be well orchestrated by the hand picked vets of the Elite Blue Blood Breeders, namely the late Sir Graham Beck and his crooked 4 horseman, which gave them breeding fame and fortune and wealthy from their private property racetracks the catch 22, here comes the major question to be asked, what about the poor innocent racehorses and the important public, who have been robbed in broad daylite of their rights under the umbrella of animal cruelty and the theft of public hard earned monies.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Yes they are the real crooks.
Red Dog More than 1 year ago
So here’s the windup: I was told to be at the barn around 11:30 A.M. the next morning, the day of the Spinaway Stakes. So there I was, alone, because all the barn chores were completed and the crew had scrammed. I was walking the row, talking to the horses at 12:00 noon when the veterinarian pulled up. “Where’s the horse in today’s stake?” He asked. I pointed. The veterinarian said, "Get a shank and hold her in the stall." He then lifted the back lid of his veterinarian’s vehicle. He carefully selected a small bottle and a needle, and approached. The veterinarian calmly entered her stall. He found a vein on her neck, loaded the needle from the bottle, and injected. He held his hand on her neck for awhile, and I though this would be a great opportunity to ask a vet about this listless two year old filly’s one ankle looking a smooch bigger than the other. So I did! He never even looked down at her ankles, but said, "I don’t do legs." We then left the two-year-old filly’s stall together. I snapped the webbing shut, and the vet walked to the back of his vet vehicle. Then the veterinarian quickly disposed of the needle and the bottle, and closed the back lid of his vehicle. He motioned to me, and I moved towards him. "Don’t let anyone go near her stall. Get some coffee, a chair, and sit outside her stall, here, on the edge of the road. Grab some pebbles. She’ll start dancing in about thirty minutes, and throw the pebbles and yell at her so she’ll keep her feet on the floor.” "Listen," I said, “you’re not going to the Lukas barn are you?” “No,” he said, “It's your turn today.” http://www.clockerbob.com/chapter3.html
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
All public need to take heed to your above eye witness Red Dog, but remember its all prearranged by the secret Elite Blue Blood Breeders, who simply use their hand picked vets as their puppets corruption to the 10th degree refer to conspiredcorruption.wordpress.com
Walter More than 1 year ago
Why is something that "allegedly" happened in 1986 being penalized now? I guess they are pretty backlogged in Harrisburg?
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Great question Walter so this in-house corruption has been ongoing from 1986 to 2014 wow a major eye opener
Mark Oleary More than 1 year ago
I agree with Denise 100% because it's high time the horseracing industry cleans itself up and this would be a big first step. ANYONE caught fixing races should be banned for life! No exceptions and no freakin deals. This is sickening! Who are these guys?
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Puppets to the puppet Masters Mark Oleary
Denise More than 1 year ago
These vets need to have their licenses to practice -- not just their racetrack licenses -- suspended for life and they should get substantial prison time. That would send a clear message that this type of corruption won't be tolerated or treated lightly.
Mark Gory More than 1 year ago
Parx should think about cleaning up racing too! Maybe Joe Wilson or Sam Elliot could lead the way!
Mark Gory More than 1 year ago
When I first came to Phiily Park, I was told Scott Lake knew had to enter better than anybody else. He was 32 % in 2000. Then he forgot how to enter, and John McCaslin knew how to enter better than anybody, he was 35 % 2004. Then Carlos Guerrero knew how to enter better than anybody else, he was 39 % 2010 Now Ramon Preciado knows how to enter better than anyone, he is 32% in 2015. I guess the rest of us are still learning how to read the condition book! Let's not forget Mike Farro, he's learned over the past couple of years how to enter much better also!
Walter More than 1 year ago
Yep some call it reading the condition book well. I call it cashing tickets regularly and its untaxed income that isn't shared w/ all parties like a purse is. Many trainers around the country have figured out this is the way to go.
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Well said Mark
Alicia More than 1 year ago
Rene Allard Lou Pena are soon to be
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
This raceday practice is happening a lot throughout the country. Very good winning percentage. But horsemen dont want to clean it up.
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Well said Joel all races are fixed and controlled by the hierarchy of horse racing try and understand Interstate Act of 1978, they horseman bad or good, they have no choice they are merely yes sir no sir puppets.....