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After Horse Drug Fraudster Navarro Pled Now Fishman & Giannelli Trial Set SDNY Nov 15

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Thread
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 30 -- In what was called a racehorse doping take-down, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York on the morning of March 9, 2020 announced more than a dozen arrests. 

Inner City Press went to cover the presentments in the SDNY Magistrates Courts and personally witnessed 11 of them, all given bail packages and released: " Defendants up now, arrested 4-5 am in race horse drug adulteration conspiracy case: Alexander Chan (Federal Defender), Christopher Marino, Henry Argueta, Kristian Rhein (retained, R), Michael Tannuzzo, Nicholas Surick (R), Rebecca Linke and Ross Cohen (R)." 

On August 2, Federal Defenders filed for defendant Alexander Chan a motion to suppress Title III wiretaps, writing that "When the FBI filed wiretap affidavits to intercept calls from Jason Servis and Kristian Rhein, they knowingly and intentionally misrepresented to the court that SGF-1000 and Clenbuterol were PEDs. They did so despite knowledge that SGF-1000 had been tested by a world reknown laboratory, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Lab and had been foudn not to be a PED." Watch this site.

On July 30, it emerged the lead defendant was set to plead guilty, see below.

On August 30, trial dates: "ORDER as to Seth Fishman, Lisa Giannelli, Jordan Fishman: It is hereby ORDERED that the following trial schedule will be in effect as to Defendants Seth Fishman, Lisa Giannelli, and Jordan Fishman: The parties must be prepared for trial to commence on November 15, 2021 at a time and courtroom to be notified; Jury charge requests, proposed voir dire questions, and any motions in limine will be due October 25, 2021; Any opposition papers to motions in limine will be due November 1, 2021; The final pre-trial conference will be scheduled for November 10, 2021, at 10:00am in Courtroom 18C of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil on 8/30/2021)."

July 30: ORDER as to Jorge Navarro. Change of Plea Hearing for Jorge Navarro is scheduled for 8/11/2021 at 9am before Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil.  (Change of Plea Hearing set for 8/11/2021 at 09:00 AM before Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil.) (Signed by Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil on 7/30/21)."

Inner City Press covered the sentencing on August 11. Judge Vyskocil asked Navarro numerous questions. He said he'd mailed the horse drugs from Florida to New York, that he understood forfeiture of $70,000 and the two level enhancement. Afterward this: defendants JORGE NAVARRO and KRISTIAN RHEIN have pled guilty to their respective roles in the distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead, in connection with the charges filed in United States v. Navarro et al., 20 Cr. 160 (MKV).  NAVARRO pled guilty today and RHEIN pled guilty on August 3, 2021, both before U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil.  RHEIN will be sentenced by Judge Vyskocil on December 2, 2021, and NAVARRO will be sentenced by Judge Vyskocil on December 17, 2021. Watch this site.

On July 23, 2021, co-defendant Michael Kegley Jr. pled guilty to his role in the distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead, before U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil. Inner City Press covered it.

  Kegley got a plea deal with a guideline of 30 to 36 months and will be sentenced by Judge Vyskocil on November 22, 2021. His lawyer said he'd assured Kegley that will probably be in person.

Now on July 30, others' motions to dismiss have been denied: "each of the Motions to Dismiss the Indictment is DENIED. As alleged in the Indictment, for years Defendants conspired to drug racehorses under their control, leading to acclaim and millions of dollars in winnings. The letter motions filed by Defendants Navarro, Garcia, Jordan Fishman, and Dane, Jr., joining in the Fishman-Giannelli Motion and seeking dismissal are DENIED."

On June 25, 2021co-defendant Seth Fishman asked Judge Vyskocil to change lawyers. She held a proceeding, covered by Inner City Press, in which she said as long as no delay in the case. Incoming counsel committed to that, and so the switch was made.

Back on November 11, 2020 Chan's Federal Defender informed Judge Vyskocil he anticipated the following motions: motion to dismiss Counts III and IV of the superseding Indictment; motion for severance; motion to suppress statements; motion to suppress wiretap evidence; and a motion to preclude expert testimony and other evidences on Daubert grounds." Watch this site.

 On July 17, Judge Vyskocil wrote, "ORDER denying without prejudice [202] Motion for Bill of Particulars as to Seth Fishman (7). The information Fishman requests in the form of a bill of particulars is either not appropriate for that mechanism or is available to him through other means, i.e., the Complaint, Indictment, and discovery. The Court also refuses to dismiss the Indictment since it amply satisfies the low bar applicable to what must be included in an indictment pursuant to Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Fishmans argument regarding a potentially invalid theory of liability under the FDCA was raised only in his Reply with no opportunity for response by the Government. Therefore, the Court does not reach the merits of that argument at this time. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion for a Bill of Particulars (and the alternative dismissal argument) is DENIED without prejudice. (Signed by Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil on 7/17/2020)."

On June 30 Judge Vyskocil held another proceeding in the case, which Inner City Press covered. While much of the back and forth was deferential, the lawyer for Doctor Seth Fishman opposed exclusion of time for purposes of the Speedy Trial Act.
  This drew looks. But it is the defendant's right. Judge Vyskocil granted the exclusion of time,w with all parties to re-appear on November 19. The case is
US v. Navarro et al., 20-cr-160 (Viskocil).

 Back in March , two masterminds were not presented, at least in New York - apparently, they were presented in Federal court in Florida. Most defendants got released the same day by signing a $100,000 bond, in some cases $40,000 or $50,000.

They were told not to communicate with co-defendants, or to be in the presence of racehorses without their owners, or the owners of the premises they are stabled in. Here was Inner City Press' live tweeted thread.

 Now on April 2 all 19 defendants - only two of them present on the phone - were arraigned by the assigned District Judge, Mary Kay Viskocil. The phone was used due to Coronavirus; at one point, someone on the call said he had just taken a shower.

  The defense lawyers or some of them asked to have Emma Greenwood appointed as Coordinating Discovery Attorney. But the lawyer for Seth Fishman said while he would not oppose it, Fishman would do his own coordinating.

 An issue arose about conditions of informing licensing authorities - both thoroughbred and statndard bred - and how stables owners will police the conditions. New filings are anticipated.

  The next conference was set for June 30; Judge Viskocil put off any decision on severance of cases at least until then. She made a point of saying no one could photograph (how?), record or rebroadcast the proceeding, which of course Inner City Press obeyed. But at what point will these shifts to phone calls and, it seems from the Magistratres Court, video / Skype make these restrictions entirely obsolete? Inner City Press is pursing all these issues. This 19 defendant case is US v. Navarro et al., 20-cr-160 (Viskocil).

 But what of Amr Abdelaziz of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, who used horses to launder money from OneCoin about which the SDNY prosecutors were so concerned until, like with the UN, they weren't? Watch this site.


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