Federal Judge drops fraud charges against Thoroughbred trainer Webb

Tuesday's Horse

Cross-posted from The Blood-Horse

Samuel Webb, one of three trainers and four people facing federal fraud charges following arrests in November at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, had those charges dismissed June 5.

U.S. District Court Judge William Caldwell of the Middle District of Pennsylvania dismissed both counts of a federal indictment against Webb, saying the government’s allegations failed to meet the definitions of the two charges.

The decision appears to be a blow to law enforcement officials who argue 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 the charges, the court agreed with Webb’s argument that the government was attempting to “convert a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law…

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