Former Vet Chan Asks For Revision To 30-Month Doping Conspiracy Sentence

Horse sent to the test barn | Sarah Andrew

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The former New York-based veterinarian Alexander Chan has filed a hand-written plea from prison asking for a reduction to his 30-month sentence that was handed down in May as punishment for his role in the wide-ranging 2020 racehorse doping conspiracy case.

In December 2022, Chan had cut a deal with prosecutors that involved pleading guilty to a single felony charge of drug adulteration and misbranding in exchange for two other felony counts against him being dropped.

Chan's filing with the court on Monday was submitted without an attorney acting on his behalf.

But the 10-page motion laid out a cogent case for reconsideration based on an amendment recently adopted by the United States Sentencing Commission that allows for downward revisions of sentencing levels for petitioners who have zero criminal history points on their records.

According to Chan's filing, the new sentencing commission guidelines allow, in certain cases, for retroactive recalculation of the “offense levels” that are used to determine prison terms, so long as the offenses didn't involve things like violent behavior, the use of weapons, sex crimes, or hate crimes.

Chan is arguing that a recalculated offense level in his instance would reduce his sentence to a 24-to-30 month prison term, and he is asking the court to revise his imprisonment to the lowest end of that tier because of his record of good behavior while jailed at Fort Dix, a low-security federal correctional institution in New Jersey.

Chan wrote in his motion that he has “pursued [computer] programming to a greater degree than any other similarly situated inmate and has been free from disciplinary actions.”

Chan was arrested in March 2020 as part of a series of coordinated law enforcement sweeps in the years-long federal investigation of a network of more than 30 horsemen, veterinarians, and equine pharmaceutical suppliers who ended up facing charges.

Jason Servis | The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

In the lead-up to sentencing, federal prosecutors had described Chan in court documents as “a former veterinarian for the New York Racing Association (NYRA), and a practicing veterinarian for over 15 years [who] abdicated his duty of responsibility to the horses under his care.”

The feds' portrayal of Chan continued: “After spending three years as a traveling veterinarian for NYRA, the defendant worked under convicted co-defendant Kristian Rhein at Empire Veterinary Group and soon after began providing and/or administering adulterated and misbranded drugs without valid prescriptions, knowing that their use violated New York's racing rules, medical ethics, and the law.”

Chan's own presentence report filed by his legal team had stated that, “Dr. Chan's sterling career and the beautiful young family it supported have since been destroyed because-at the direction of his boss and the owner of the veterinary practice in which he worked, Dr. Kristian Rhein-Dr. Chan participated in the distribution of misbranded substances for use on Thoroughbred racehorses.”

According to a trove of wiretap evidence, plus implicating testimony from plea-bargaining defendants, Klein and Chan's client list included the now-imprisoned former trainer Jason Servis, whom the feds alleged doped almost all the horses under his control in early 2019.

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