03/15/2006 1:00AM

Ky. Senate passes fraud bill


The Kentucky Senate has passed a measure calling for increased disclosure by agents in horse sales. The owner of Stonestreet Stables, Jess Jackson, had lobbied personally for the passage of the bill, which passed the Senate in a 36-0 vote Wednesday.

The House passed a different version of the bill in late February. The Senate-approved legislation now returns to the full House for a concurrence vote. If the House concurs with the Senate version, the measure will head to Gov. Ernie Fletcher for signing into law.

The legislation makes dual agency - the practice of representing both buyer and seller in a transaction - illegal without both parties' prior knowledge and written consent. It also would provide triple damages to victims of undisclosed dual agency and requires a written bill of sale, including the purchase price and signed by both buyer and seller or their authorized agents, for any horse for breeding, racing, or show purposes.

An amendment allowing an exception for show-horse transactions of $10,000 or less has been retained in the Senate version, although Jackson had opposed that exception.

The Senate bill specifies that parties to a sale who are unaware of any dual agency would not be held liable. That amendment, proposed by Sen. Damon Thayer, represents compromise language between Jackson and the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association.