William A. Levin, longtime head of CIF, which was created to provide a source of funding for capital improvements for the New York Racing Association, agreed to pay $185,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine. Following his guilty plea Friday in state court in Manhattan, Levin also resigned as chairman of the state Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, a state agency that regulates breeding activities in the state.
Sources said Levin was involved in approving inflated expense vouchers for dinners and transportation and was using his secretary and supplies for his own personal purposes. Levin held the unpaid CIF post for more than 20 years and had close ties to politicians in the state.
Officials with the Manhattan District Attorney's office, which prosecuted the case, did not return calls for comment. State Comptroller Alan Hevesi's office, which sources say conducted an audit of CIF that led to the criminal case against Levin, declined comment. The audit is expected to be unveiled Dec. 5 by Hevesi.
Levin did not return calls for comment.
His attorney, Paul Shechtman, said Levin won't face probation or jail time.
"Bill Levin has dedicated himself to improving the quality of horse racing and horse breeding in New York state. He is very proud of his accomplishments and is disappointed in himself for the conduct that brought him before the court today,'' Shechtman said.
CIF was disbanded earlier this year and replaced by a new state agency that is monitoring the operations of NYRA.
The case against Levin comes two years after CIF's former executive director, James de Pasquale, resigned amid a probe by the state's inspector general's office.
Levin now lives in Florida.