HARRISBURG — A former horse trainer at Penn National will serve 27 months in prison on each of her 14 felony convictions related to misbranding prescription drugs on race day and conspiracy, according to the office of U.S. Attorney David J. Freed.
Murray Rojas, 53, of Grantville, will serve the sentences concurrent to each other. She was also sentenced to serve two years of probation after her prison term and to pay a $5,000 fine.
Rojas was found guilty of directing veterinarians to administer drugs to her horses on race day in violation of track rules and state law. The conspiracy took place between 2002 and 2014, and involved 58 races, Freed said in a press release. Rojas conspired with three veterinarians to have the drugs dispensed and administered to horses on the day they were entered to race.
As part of the conspiracy, the veterinarians attempted to conceal this conduct by backdating invoices for the sale and administration of drugs to the horses on race day, as well as the submission of fraudulent veterinarian treatment reports to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission.
The United States Attorney’s Office prosecuted several other people as part of this investigation in federal and state court, including:
• Danny Robertson, the official clocker, charged with wire fraud, sentenced to one year probation and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine;
• Craig Lytel, a racing official, charged with wire fraud, sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine;
• David Wells, owner and trainer, charged with rigging a publicly exhibited contest, sentenced on February 23, 2015, to three months’ imprisonment;
• Patricia Rogers, trainer, charged with rigging a publicly exhibited contest, received an ARD in Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas;
• Samuel Webb, trainer, charged with rigging a publicly exhibited contest, received an ARD in Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas;
• Renée Nodine, veterinarian, charged with misbranding and conspiracy, awaiting sentencing;
• Kevin Brophy, veterinarian, charged with misbranding and conspiracy, awaiting sentencing; and
• Fernando Motta, veterinarian, charged with misbranding and conspiracy, awaiting sentencing;
• Christopher Korte, veterinarian charged with misbranding and conspiracy, awaiting sentencing.
Rojas will report to a federal prison on June 3. A decision whether she will be allowed to remain on bail pending an appeal is under advisement by the court, Freed said.
The case was investigated by the by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Horse Racing Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe prosecuted the case.