01/25/2016 6:42PM

Ex-jockey agent faces computer trespassing, tampering charges


Mike Gonzalez, a former jockey agent who until last spring was working on the New York Racing Association circuit, was arrested Monday and faces two criminal charges punishable by as many as five years in prison, according to the Queens County (N.Y.) district attorney’s office.

Gonzalez, who represented jockey Manny Franco for parts of 2014-15, was charged with criminal computer trespassing, a Class E felony punishable by as many as four years in prison, and tampering with a sports contest in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in prison, according to Kevin Ryan, spokesman for Richard Brown, the Queens district attorney.

As of late Monday, Gonzalez was pending arraignment in Queens County District Court, Ryan said.

The Queens district attorney is alleging that Gonzalez was illegally granted access to NYRA’s InCompass computer system by paying a NYRA employee $100 a month from January 2014 to April 2015. The InCompass system would give an agent access to pertinent information such as a list of entries before they were finalized, horses placed on a vet’s list, and workouts. Having access to that information could be deemed a competitive advantage for a jockey agent seeking mounts for his client.

Though not named by the district attorney, the employee is believed to be Stephen Foster, NYRA’s head clocker during that time and a placing/patrol judge. Foster, Gonzalez, and another jockey agent, Jose Morales Jr., were escorted off the NYRA grounds by NYRA officials on April 1 and have since been denied access to Aqueduct, Belmont, or Saratoga. Though Gonzalez and Morales were permitted to do their jobs by phone until such time as their clients dropped them, Foster was fired by NYRA on June 1.

Neither Foster nor Morales were arrested or charged with any wrongdoing Monday, though Ryan did say “there will be more information” Tuesday.