By Bill Finley
Louis Grasso, a veterinarian who served the harness racing sector and who was a single of 29 people indicted in March of 2020 for his role in a racehorse doping ring, entered a responsible plea in federal court docket Wednesday ahead of U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel. He was billed with a person rely of drug adulteration and misbranding conspiracy, a felony, and could facial area as significantly as five many years in prison.
The prosecution charged that Grasso’s doping led to corrupt trainers gathering around $47 million in “ill-gotten purse winnings.”
He will be sentenced Sept. 6.
The plea was introduced by the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace for the Southern District Court, which, in a press release, took the celebration to also comment on a guilty plea entered final thirty day period from harness trainer Richard Banca.
“Grasso and Banca depict the corruption and greed of individuals in the racehorse market hunting to earn at any price tag,” mentioned U.S. Legal professional Damian Williams. “In peddling unlawful medicine and advertising prescriptions to corrupt trainers, Louis Grasso abdicated his duties as a health-related experienced to make certain the protection and wellness of the racehorses he ‘treated.’ By injecting horses with unnecessary and, at periods, mysterious medication, Grasso risked the life and welfare of the animals less than his care, all in service of encouraging corrupt racehorse trainers like Banca line their pockets by means of fraud. These latest convictions exhibit the determination of this Workplace and of our associates at the FBI to keep accountable men and women searching for to earnings from animal abuse and deceit.”
In the indictment of Grasso, the governing administration portrayed him as a central determine in a scheme to manufacture, distribute and get adulterated and misbranded PEDs which had been administered to horses. The governing administration charged that Grasso and many others shipped and received “at the very least thousands” of units of PEDs issued by pharmacies pursuant to invalid prescriptions.
According to the indictment, Grasso was production and/or providing “epogen,” soreness shots of joint blocks, bronchodilators and a material termed “red acid.” Pink acid is believed to decrease inflammation in joints.
It seems that Grasso’s doping could have been restricted to harness racing as the indictment does not point out any unlawful pursuits that included Thoroughbred racing.
Grasso was among 4 men and women included with harness racing provided in an indictment that also detailed trainers Conor Flynn, Donato Poliseno and Thomas Guido III. Poliseno and Guido are scheduled to be tried using June 27. Flynn has cooperated with the govt and just lately testified towards Lisa Gianelli, who was convicted of misbranding and drug adulteration.