On Thursday, February 18, a former racetrack official was sentenced to a four-month term in federal prison due to charges in relation to race fixing.
An article on pennlive.com explains, Craig Lytel, 61, was handed the jail sentence Thursday by U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner.
In 2015, Lytel plead guilty to a wire fraud charge relating to haven accepted money and other forms of kickbacks in exchange for privileged racing information.
Lytel’s prison sentence is scheduled to start on March 23.
The federal government had accused Lytel, who worked in the race office at Penn National Race Track, of providing trainers with inside information regarding the make-up of horse races. The government had alleged that trainers then utilized that information to enter their horses into races that they had a better chance of potentially winning. The government had alleged that Lytel received cash, and, at other times, golf outings, gift cards and dinners for the privileged racing information.
The pennlive.com article states that Lytel’s actions in the race office had continued even after a well publicized federal probe was taking place at the track.
Assistant attorney William A. Behe told Judge Conner that Lytel “cheated the other trainers and owners who had horses in those races," adding that, "if Mr. Lytel is sentenced to probation or house arrest there is no deterrence."
Before handing down the prison sentence, Judge Conner said "I believe that this is a serious fraud," also stating that "the damage to the reputation of the horse racing industry is significant."
(With files from pennlive.com)