11/18/2003 12:00AM

NYRA tellers plead guilty


Two former mutuel tellers for the New York Racing Association pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of helping bettors avoid taxes on their winnings.

The two tellers, James Boggiano and John Weisener, had been named in a 406-count indictment brought by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Monday, Boggiano pleaded guilty to 12 counts of forgery, a felony, and Weisener pleaded guilty to five counts of offering a false instrument for filing, a misdemeanor. Sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 12.

Paul Larabee, a spokesman for Spitzer, said Tuesday that both Boggiano and Weisener had agreed to cooperate in Spitzer's ongoing investigation of NYRA in exchange for the guilty pleas.

"The resolution of this matter does not conclude our interest or review of the actions and activities of the New York Racing Association," Larabee said.

Spitzer has been investigating NYRA for three years. His office has indicted a total of 19 mutuel tellers as a result of the investigations. Sixteen of the mutuel tellers have been convicted; another died before a conviction could take place.

Boggiano and Weisener were charged with allowing bettors to avoid mandatory federal withholding taxes on payouts that are greater than 300-1.