Report: Grand Jury Probes Louisiana HBPA

An investigation into alleged fraud by the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association will continue Aug. 8 when a federal grand jury hears testimony from horseracing industry representatives, the New Orleans Times Picayune reported.

The newspaper, which first reported on the investigation in July, said subpoenas were issued to board members and employees of the Louisiana HBPA, which represents horsemen at Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino, Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The horsemen’s association receives more than $5 million a year for operations and various programs.

The Times Picayune said the Louisiana HBPA hired criminal-defense attorney Eddie Castaing and the Ehrhardt Group, a public relations firm.

The grand jury will look into various allegations, including a fraudulent election and mismanagement or fraudulent use of board money, including funds to assist horsemen in the aftermath of two hurricanes that struck Louisiana, the newspaper said. Sources told the newspaper investigators have collected ballots cast in the last Louisiana HBPA election.

Trainer Larry Robideaux, a Louisiana HBPA board member who was re-elected in March, told the Times Picayune he believes the probe is being pushed by those who lost the election.