New sentencing documents in federal investigation suggest wider use of SGF-1000, mention new trainers



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As sentencing dates approach for the flurry of federal defendants who pleaded guilty to drug forgery and mislabelling charges this summer and fall, prosecutors and defense attorneys have filed documents that reveal some new information on the case that has captivated the races since March 2020.

Coach Jorge Navarro will be sentenced on December 17, veterinarian Dr Kristian Rhein on December 22, drug salesman Michael Kegley on January 6, 2022, and trainers Christopher Oakes and Marcos Zulueta on February 17 and 24, 2022, respectively.

Defense and prosecutor reports have been submitted for Kegley, who was due to be sentenced on November 22 but was postponed shortly before. The defense report has been filed for Rhein, but prosecutors have yet to file their report detailing what they think his sentence should be.

Below are some takeaways from last week’s document dumps:

  • Rhein’s defense attorneys mentioned a few new coaches in a passing comment while discussing the calculated loss to victims of his crimes. “To begin with, it is important to note that the guidelines for sentencing accused are improved by 22 levels in accordance with USS G 2B1.1 (b) (1) (L) due to the loss that is calculated at $ 53,586,521. The loss does not represent the value of the illegal drugs sold by the defendant; instead, it represents the 2017-2020 earnings of Jason Servis, Jorge Abreu, Jeremiah Engelhart and Thomas Albertrani, none of which was shared with the accused. The defense conviction report does not further explain what the trainers’ involvement is supposed to be in relation to Rhein, nor does it accuse them of wrongdoing. Rhein was a racetrack vet who, according to his plea, promoted the use of mislabeled and falsified drugs in his practice and masked this use on billing statements.
  • Rhein agreed to a voluntary suspension of his license after his arrest in the case; after judgment, he will be definitively revoked. Rhein has already agreed to pay $ 729,716 in restitution and $ 1,021,800 in forfeiture. Some $ 671,800 of that amount will be owed at sentencing, prompting the Rhein family to mortgage their house.
  • Rhein owned 25% of Medivet Equine, which sold SGF-1000. his stepfather, Michael Kegley Sr., owned 25% of the company and the remaining 50% was owned by an anonymous third person.
  • Federal investigators intercepted a phone call – the transcript of which has been filed under seal – in which prosecutors say Rhein indicated that the use of the SGF-1000 may go beyond racing. for FEI and it’s a lot stricter than anything we got, ”said Rhein on the call.
  • Earlier records in the case have described a panicked call from co-accused Jason Servis to Rhein after Maximum Security was tested out of competition in June 2019. Servis told Rhein he gave the horse SGF-1000 shortly beforehand. the test, which prompted assurances from Rhein that nothing significant would be found. Sentencing documents also revealed that Rhein believed the out-of-competition testing was not a random or standard event, claiming that “someone shouted” regarding Servis’ use of the drug.
  • Following the June out-of-competition test on maximum security, prosecutors said Rhein and others at Medivet participated in a conference call to discuss concerns that the substance could be the subject of increased scrutiny from federal regulators. Prosecutors now say that an anonymous participant in that appeal cited the Murray Rojas case in Pennsylvania as an example of federal law enforcement action on drugs in racing. the best way to escape scrutiny. “All we’re going to do is invent, invent a hundred boxes and a hundred labels for a try and see what happens… we won’t mention the word growth factor in any form or form… we can even put on the box, you know, equine food supplements. That way it doesn’t, nobody even has to wonder if it’s FDA approved or not, it’s strictly an extra, ”Kegley reportedly said.
  • As we reported last year, Medivet changed its SGF-1000 marketing materials around this time, using words like “post-workout rejuvenation and recovery” and removing references to growth factors. He also deleted references to the product that had been imported from Australia. Sales of the product continued.
  • The sentencing guidelines ranges for prison terms are available for other defendants who have pleaded guilty but have not been convicted. The ranges in the guidelines are taken into account by the judge at sentencing and represent a consideration of many different factors regarding the crime and the offender’s personal history, but the judge is not bound by these. forks. The guideline ranges for defendants awaiting conviction are as follows: 30 to 36 months in prison for Zulueta; 36 months for Oakes; 36 for the Rhine; 60 months for Navarro; 36 months for Kegley. Pre-sentence reports are still pending in all cases except Kegley’s, which means the prosecution and defense still have the option of asking the judge to award a different sentence than the ranges listed.

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