Awaiting Prison In Doping Scandal, Vet Charged With Cheating Casino Out Of $21,646

Harness racing | Sarah Andrew


The convicted New York-based harness racing veterinarian Louis Attilio Grasso, who is scheduled to report to federal prison Jan. 24 to begin serving a 50-month sentence for his admitted role in peddling drugs in the 2020 racehorse doping conspiracy sweep of arrests, was arraigned Friday in Pennsylvania on charges that he swindled $21,646 from a casino over the past week by allegedly conspiring with a dealer in a cheating scheme.

According to stories first reported by the Pennsylvania news outlet the Times Leader and the gaming industry site, security officials at the Mohegan Pennsylvania casino in Wilkes-Barre began more closely monitoring a dealer there Dec. 30 after detecting a “sudden large win rate” at his table.

Citing court records filed by the Pennsylvania State Police's Bureau of Gaming Enforcement, the Times Leader reported that “Jason Richard Kutney, 52, was a dealer for the craps electronic table game responsible for pushing a button at the end of a 30 second clock allowing patrons to place bets. Kutney pushed the button early, allowing casino patron Louis Attilio Grasso, 66, to see the numbers prior to placing his bet.”

The Times Leader's reporting continued: “State police in court records said the scheme occurred on Dec. 30, when Grasso won $17,521, and again [Jan. 5], when Grasso won $4,125. Kutney admitted to pushing the button on the machine earlier, giving Grasso the benefit of seeing the numbers.” added that “Surveillance video captured Kutney allegedly hitting the dice button early at least nine times. During the incidents, police say bettors were given as much as 20 seconds to place their bets even though the dice had been rolled and the winning numbers were displayed on the electronic [table].”

“Police said in an affidavit that Kutney admitted to law officers that he was assisting Grasso through a difficult time. Grasso declined to speak with police and instead requested an attorney,” reported. reported that Kutney was arrested and charged with three felony charges for receiving stolen property, theft by unlawful taking, and conspiring to trick, fraud, or manipulate a casino, plus a first-degree misdemeanor for knowingly tricking and/or defrauding a business.

The Luzerne County court docket noted that Grasso's charges are similar, reporting them in court shorthand as “Knowingly by trick/fraud/manipulation win or reduce loss” without designating them as felonies or misdemeanors.

Although the Times Union additionally reported on Friday that both defendants “were jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $25,000 unsecured bail,” neither was listed on the inmate roster as of Saturday afternoon.

In May 2022, when Grasso entered a guilty plea in the racehorse doping conspiracy case, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District Court issued a press release in which U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “In peddling illegal drugs and selling prescriptions to corrupt trainers, Louis Grasso abdicated his responsibilities as a medical professional to ensure the safety and health of the racehorses he 'treated.'”

The website Sports Litigation Alert reported on Dec. 16,. 2022, that Grasso's doping conspiracy conviction was hardly his first brush with the law or state racing regulators.

“In 1992, Grasso was previously convicted in federal court of selling anabolic steroids and his license to practice equine medicine was suspended by the State of New York. In 1993, based on Grasso's guilty plea in New York to three counts of possession and distribution of anabolic steroids, his New Jersey license to practice veterinary medicine in New Jersey was also suspended for five years.

“[In 2000] Delaware authorities suspected Grasso of practicing without a license and when police tried to arrest him Grasso led the police on a wild car chase. When the police finally stopped Grasso they found needles, syringes and banned drugs in his car. In 2005, New York State Racing and Wagering Board upheld a refusal to license Grasso to participate in pari-mutuel harness racing as a veterinarian,” Sports Litigation Alert reported.

Beyond his upcoming federal prison sentence in the doping conviction, the court has also mandated that Grasso pay restitution in the amount of $47,656,576 and a forfeiture of $412,442.

Just prior to his Nov. 15 sentencing, Grasso wrote a letter to the judge asking for leniency because of health issues and his modest financial means.

“I am a physical wreck,” Grasso wrote. “I am not a rich man. I don't have much in the way of money or possessions. I have no savings, I have little cash available… While I don't live hand to mouth, I don't have the ability to withstand any catastrophic events in my life.”

Grasso is due to appear in Luzerne County Court next on Jan. 17 for a preliminary hearing on the casino charges.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. 2023 PA-Bred Awards Topped By Angel Of Empire
  2. The World's Oldest Thoroughbred? We Think We Have Found Him
  3. PA Horse Breeders Association Names 2023 PA-Bred Award Finalists
  4. Handle Drops by 3.7% in 2023 as Purses Also Take a Slight Dip
  5. Harness Owner Howard Taylor Sues Jeff Gural for Defamation

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.