November 2015 Issue - page 8

Page 8
November 2015
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
FBI Press Release
The U.S. Attorney’s Office
for the Middle District of Penn-
sylvania announced on Septem-
ber 29 that a racing official at
Penn National Race Track in
Grantville has agreed to plead
guilty to wire fraud for accepting
Penn National Official Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
money and other gratuities in
exchange for providing inside
information to trainers on which
races to enter their horses in
order to have a better chance at
winning.
According to United States
Attorney Peter Smith, Craig
Lytel, age 60, of Hershey, PA was
an employee of the Hollywood
Casino at Penn National Race
Track who served as a racing
official at the track. He is charged
with wire fraud alleging that he
was the recipient of an interstate
wire transfer of $1,000 from a
bank in Kentucky to Lytel’s bank
in Pennsylvania allegedly in
exchange for providing inside in-
formation on the makeup of horse
races at Penn National so that the
trainers would know the compo-
sition of the race and enter their
horses in races in which they
have a better opportunity to win.
It is alleged that Lytel deprived
his employer of his honest service
by accepting cash, dinners, gift
cards and golf outings in ex-
change for the information.
Lytel is licensed as a racing
official at Penn National and
falls under the rules and regula-
tions that govern licensees with
the Pennsylvania Horse Racing
Commission. Lytel was privy to
information concerning the horses
entered in a race while the race en-
tries are being filled by the racing
office. This information gives a
horse owner/trainer an advantage
as to which race to enter their
eligible horse in that it would give
the horse a better chance of suc-
cess. Such information, coupled
with the knowledge of what other
horses are in a given race, could
also provide an opportunity for
collusion on the behalf of owner/
trainers or even determine if a race
will be filled enough to run.
The government filed a plea
agreement with the defendant
which is subject to the approval
of the court.
The case was investigated by
the Harrisburg Resident Office of
the Federal Bureau of Investiga-
tion and the Pennsylvania Horse
Racing Commission as part of an
ongoing investigation of racing at
Penn National.
Prosecution of the case is as-
signed to Assistant United States
Attorney William A. Behe.
A sentence following a
finding of guilt is imposed by the
Judge after consideration of the
applicable federal sentencing stat-
utes and the Federal Sentencing
Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under
federal law is 20 years of im-
prisonment, a term of supervised
release following imprisonment,
and a fine. Under the Federal
Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge
is also required to consider and
weigh a number of factors, in-
cluding the nature, circumstances
and seriousness of the offense;
the history and characteristics of
the defendant; and the need to
punish the defendant, protect the
public and provide for the defen-
dant’s educational, vocational and
medical needs. For these reasons,
the statutory maximum penalty
for the offense is not an accurate
indicator of the potential sentence
for a specific defendant.
In the ongoing investiga-
tion that began two years ago,
investigators have also charged
Penn National horse trainers and
veterinarians with doping race
horses and arrested a timer for
taking bribes.
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