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In SDNY Horse Racing Case Lebowitz Deferred Prosecution Agreement Gets Judicial Sign Off

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 14 - In further FBI horse racing performance enhancing drugs prosecutions, on May 28 Sarah Izhaki and Ashley Lebowitz pled not guilty before Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Inner City Press covered and live tweeted it.  

On November 23 at 7 pm the US Attorney's Office filed for Ashely Lebowitz a proposed Non Prosecution Agreement to end its prosecution of her after a period of one year's supervision. But the US Attorney can revoke or modify it at any time.

On December 14 Judge Vyskocil held a hearing on the NPA, putting Lebowitz under oath. Lebowitz said she wants to be a nurse. When asked about the US ability to revoke the DPA at any time, she expressed surprise. Judge Vyskocil asked the AUSA, only if she violates it, right? He said yes. And so, it was signed. The case against the others proceeds.

Back on May 28 the Assistant US Attorney describing discovery, saying that it would take about a month to process and re-upload the discovery material.

Izhaki's lawyer said that he and his wife will be out of town in August. 

 But on August 18, Izhazi appeared before Judge Vyskocil to plead guilty. Inner City Press live tweeted it:

Judge Vyskocil: How would you characterize your ability to speak English?

Izhaki: Un momentito. I speak six, seven different languages. English is number six. To understand it is different. Like instead of saying The White House you say the House White.

 Judge Vyskocil: Are you a US citizen?

Izhaki: Yes your Honor. Judge Vyskocil: Have you been under the care of a psychiatrist? Izhaki: Yes. Since my car accident in May 2019. And after the criminal charges... I was hospitalized three weeks ago.

Judge Vyskocil: So she did not try to take her life?

Izhaki: I had tried to take my life previously. But I didn't continue with that type of behavior.

Mr. Jacob Mitchell: There was an earlier incident. More recently a doctor sent her to be examined, but she was released

Judge Vyskocil: I find Ms. Izhaki is competent to enter a plea. Izhaki: Can I read you something? Mr. Mitchell: Is it just the allocution? Izhaki: Yes. Judge Vyskocil: We'll get to that in a minute.

Izhaki: Can I speak to my attorney? Judge: Yes

They're back. Judge

Vyskocil: You understand you will have no trial?

Izhaki: I'm giving up my trial?

Mr Mitchell: May I speak?
Judge Vyskocil. Yes. And I wish you had spoken more with the client beforehand.  

The AUSA said, We might supersede on the smuggling charges - but we won't do it if we're moving toward resolution.  

Judge Vyskocil asked, Have you identified victims under the Victims' Act? 

The AUSA replied,  No, not in the case.   

  Now after that strange proceeding, on September 16 the SDNY prosecutors have "announced that two defendants, SCOTT ROBINSON and SARAH IZHAKI, each pled guilty today to conspiring to unlawfully distribute adulterated and misbranded drugs for the purpose of doping racehorses in connection with the two cases in which they are charged, United States v. Robinson, 20 Cr. 162 (JPO), and United States v. Izhaki, 20 Cr. 161 (MKV).  ROBINSON pled guilty before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken, and will be sentenced by Judge Oetken on January 15, 2021.  IZHAKI pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, and will be sentenced by Judge Vyskocil on December 2, 2020."

 The case is US v. Izhaki, 20-cr-161 (Vyskocil).


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