Former Penn Clocker Enters Plea Agreement

A former clocker at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course has entered a plea agreement and is cooperating with prosecutors in connection with charges that he and two others defrauded the public.

According to documents related to the case, former clocker Danny Robertson signed the agreement June 25. He admitted he was guilty in a scheme to commit wire fraud by taking cash to falsify horse workout times and having that information transmitted to Equibase.

Robertson and trainers David Wells, Patricia Anne Rogers, and Samuel Webb all faced federal fraud charges following arrests in November at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

Webb, Wells, and Rogers were charged with defrauding the betting public administering, in violation of state racing rules and regulations, substances prohibited from being introduced into a horse within 24 hours of when the horse is scheduled to race.

Robertson has agreed to provide all information "known to the defendant" regarding any criminal activity, including, but not limited to, the charges contained in the indictment. In exchange for Robertson's cooperation, U.S. Attorney William Behe will make a recommendation for a more lenient sentence and dismissal of any other charges, except those involving taxes, against the defendant.

The plea agreement will be considered July 21 by William Caldwell, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Robertson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the original charges.

In June, Caldwell dismissed both counts of a federal indictment against Webb, saying the government's allegations failed to meet the definitions of the two charges.

Law enforcement officials had argued that drugging horses violates federal laws because races are sent out for interstate wagering. The argument would be that fraud occurs when bettors are duped into wagering against horses running with illegal performance-enhancing drugs or on horses running on illegal performance-detracting drugs.

But in dismissing Webb's charges, the court agreed with Webb's argument that the government was attempting to "convert a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law...into a federal crime."

Rogers and Wells both recently received continuances of their cases. 

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