07/22/2014 3:46PM

Judge accepts plea deal in Penn National clocker's case


A federal judge in Pennsylvania has accepted a plea agreement from a clocker at Penn National Race Course who was indicted last year for recording false workout times for horses, according to court records.

Judge William W. Caldwell accepted the agreement Tuesday, according to the records. Under the agreement, the clocker, Danny Roberston, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for accepting money from trainers to post false workout times. The times were later used in past-performance data, according to the indictment against Robertson.

Robertson’s attorney, Anne Gingrich Cornick, has not returned repeated phone calls.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, but those penalties are expected to be significantly reduced under the plea agreement. Robertson has also agreed to cooperate in any further investigations.
Robertson was one of the four individuals based at Penn National who were arrested last November after federal indictments were returned by a grand jury. The other three were trainers who were accused in the indictments of giving illegal drugs to horses.

One of the trainers, Sam Webb, had his case dismissed earlier this year when Caldwell, the same judge who accepted the plea deal, said the federal government could not prove its charges. In Webb’s case, the indictment stated that the trainer had been caught giving an illegal substance to a horse on race day, but the horse in question was scratched, introducing questions, according to Caldwell, as to how the federal government would support a charge contending the public was defrauded.

The other trainers are David Wells and Patricia Anne Rogers. Both had entered pleas of not guilty and requested stays to prepare their cases, which are scheduled to go to trial later this year.