07/17/2003 11:00PM

More woes for NYRA


NEW YORK - The New York Racing Association, which recently came under fire in a report issued the by New York state's attorney general, faces the possibility of a federal indictment, according to several published reports.

The reports said the possible indictment stems from an investigation into tax fraud by mutuel clerks.

On Friday afternoon, William J. Muller, executive assistant in the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, said he had "no comment" when asked about the investigation.

NYRA has retained the services of the Manhattan law firm of Davis Polk and Wardwell. An attorney with the firm, Dennis McInerney, told the New York Daily News in Friday's editions that the federal investigation has been ongoing for nearly three years. McInerney would not comment on the investigation beyond saying that NYRA has been "fully cooperative."

More than a dozen NYRA mutuel clerks have already been convicted of tax evasion or money-laundering as a result of state and federal investigations over the past few years.

NYRA, a private not-for-profit company, operates Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga under a state-issued franchise that will expire in 2007 but could be extended pending the installation of video lottery terminals at Aqueduct.