Argueta, Assistant To Trainer Servis, Sentenced To 'Time Served'

Jason Servis | The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

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Henry Argueta, formerly the assistant to the now-imprisoned trainer Jason Servis, was sentenced to a prison term of “time served” and two years of supervised release after working out a cooperative plea bargain with prosecutors in the wide-ranging 2020 racehorse doping conspiracy case that has already netted several dozen convictions.

The sentencing paperwork filed Dec. 21 for Argueta's final judgment in United States District Court (Southern District of New York) stated that he pleaded guilty to three felony charges listed in a superseding information document in exchange for other charges in a separate indictment being dropped.

The court records did not state how much time Argueta had already served.

The judgment also stated that Argueta must pay more than $28 million in restitution to an undisclosed list of victims. The documentation did not list a specific payment plan.

It is common for convicts of federal crimes who don't have the means to pay exorbitantly large restitutions to never pay more than a fraction of the court-ordered amount, although the penalty is never legally forgiven and the government can continue to try and collect it up to 20 years after a criminal's sentence expires.

Separately, Argueta's court filing stated that, “As a result of the offenses charged in Counts One and Two of the Information, to which the Defendant pled guilty, a money judgment in the amount of $311,760 [representing] the amount of forfeitable property involved in the offenses charged [is] jointly and severally liable with the Co-Defendants…”

But the documentation went on to state that because Servis, who got sentenced to four years in prison on July 26, has already paid that $311,760, “the Government shall credit the Servis Payment against the Money Judgment and the [Argueta] Money Judgment will be fully satisfied.”

Argueta's name surfaced on multiple occasions in a trove of wiretapped evidence that prosecutors had planned to introduce at trials.

But the feds didn't have to use the vast majority of those taped telephone phone conversations and intercepted text messages, because the highest-profile defendants in the case all ended up cutting guilty-plea deals instead of taking their chances facing a jury.

On July 10, 2019, Servis and Argueta were listed in a transcript allegedly discussing concerns about getting caught administering performance-enhancing drugs to Thoroughbreds.

Servis: Be careful man, Henry, with that. Really careful, because …
Argueta: Yes?
Servis: Because we are getting really good.
Argueta: Yeah, no.
Servis: All we need is a problem like that. Oh, with [Maximum Security crossing the finish wire first but getting disqualified for interference in the] Derby and [expletive]. Oh, my God!

Argueta and Servis then discussed the likelihood that authorities would be on the lookout for them to see if they were doping horses.

Argueta: Yeah, but what are they going to see? Nobody going to see nothing. What are they going to see? Nothing.
Servis: Right.
Argueta: We don't do nothing–ha, ha! They can look wherever they want to look.

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