Thoroughbred owner Gary Tanaka was sentenced Feb. 5 to five years in prison on securities fraud charges. Tanaka and his former partner in Amerindo Investment Advisors, Alberto Vilar, had been convicted in November 2008 on charges of stealing from investors in their technology-based funds.
Tanaka, 66, was convicted on three of 12 counts. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan federal court. He was arrested in May 2005, when the charges were first brought. Tanaka, who has since sold his U.S.-based racehorses, has been free on bail, living under virtual house arrest in New York. Judge Sullivan gave him 60 days to report to prison. Tanaka and his attorney, Glenn Colton, are deciding whether to appeal the verdict.
Tanaka, who was born in a U.S. relocation camp because of his Japanese ancestry, has raced two Eclipse Award winners in 2001 champion older female Gourmet Girl and 2002 champion turf female Golden Apples. He has also campaigned major North American stakes winners Millkom, Atlando, Bluegrass Prince, Blues Traveller, Celtic Arms, Dernier Empereur, Donna Viola, Falcon Flight, King’s Drama, Passinetti, Pellegrino, Proudinsky , Sarafan, Snow Polina, Squeak, and Star Parade.