Jason Servis

Fishman Appeals Conviction, 11-Year Sentence

Veterinarian Seth Fishman, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison July 11 after two felony drug-supplying convictions in a decades-long international racehorse doping conspiracy, has appealed his case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Fishman's notice of appeal landed on the electronic court docket shortly after 6 p.m. Eastern time Friday. The filing noted that Fishman is appealing both the conviction and the sentence. Fishman's 11-year sentence was the longest meted out in the case that led to charges against 31 individuals, including prominent...

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Barred Trainer Tannuzzo Poised to Change Plea in Doping Case

The barred trainer Michael Tannuzzo appears poised to join the parade of indicted defendants in the 2020 racehorse doping conspiracy case who have changed their pleas to guilty in order to keep felony charges against them from getting decided at trial. On Tuesday a federal judge granted Tannuzzo a swift July 7 hearing to explain his reasons for wanting to change his initial "not guilty" plea. Tannuzzo, 50, who had 11 horses under his care and had been racing at Aqueduct at the time of his March 9, 2020, arrest,...

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The Week in Review: Just What is Jason Servis Thinking

A Jan. 23 trial date for the Jason Servis case was announced last week, which means in about eight months there will be some closure and Servis will learn his fate. The way he has handled things, it seems that he is at least somewhat optimistic that he will be found not guilty. If so, he is deluding himself. Everything about this case says that he has virtually no chance of being acquitted. Which raises a question: why is he fighting this when it makes far more sense to go...

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Servis to Stand Trial in January 2023

A federal judge has established trial dates for the remaining Thoroughbred-related defendants in the alleged international doping conspiracy case that has already netted several convictions and a number of guilty pleadings. The most prominent name among the indicted individuals is the barred trainer Jason Servis, whose case will be tried alongside that of New York-based veterinarian Alexander Chan on Jan. 9, 2023. Servis amassed gaudily high win percentages during the 2010s decade prior to getting arrested on three felony drug misbranding and conspiracy to commit fraud charges in March 2020....

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Guilty Verdict for Lisa Giannelli

The federal government's crackdown on horse doping notched another courthouse win May 6 with a jury finding Lisa Giannelli guilty of conspiracy to misbrand and adulterate drugs after an eight-day trial. The jury of eight men and four women in U.S. District Court in New York returned the verdict after less than two hours of deliberations spanning two days. Giannelli, 55, of Felton, Del., faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison at her sentencing Sept. 8 before Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil. The jurors rejected Giannelli's testimony in which...

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Cohen Cross-Examined As Giannelli Trial Recesses for Weekend

Day three of Lisa Giannelli's horse doping trial Apr. 29 featured the cross-examination of a key government witness. Former New York harness trainer Ross Cohen had testified that Gianelli had sold him performance-enhancing drugs that he used to secretly dope horses under his care. He agreed to cooperate with the government after his arrest in 2020 in connection with the FBI's sweeping horse-doping probe. The investigation led to charges against a number of individuals including the prominent trainer Jason Servis. Under questioning by Giannelli attorney Louis Fasulo in U.S. District...

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Letter to the Editor: Jenine Sahadi

Since the FBI announced in 2020 that their years-long federal investigation into cheating allegations in horse racing had caught admitted "doper" Jorge Navarro, suspected "doper" Jason Servis and a host of other co-conspirators, the lines separating these criminals and most of the rest of the industry's participants with largely minor legal drug positives have been significantly blurred. Fast forward to the 2021 Kentucky Derby, a full 14 months after Navarro and Servis were arrested and charged with federal conspiracy charges related to drugging of their horses, social media erupted with...

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Fishman Asks for Sentencing Delay

The veterinarian Seth Fishman, who is currently incarcerated at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn after being convicted Feb. 2 on two felony counts in an international performance-enhancing drug (PED) racehorse doping conspiracy, had his lawyer ask a federal judge on Thursday to push back his May 5 sentencing because he is having trouble filling out required paperwork. Fishman is facing 20 years in prison, and he also has an active motion before the same judge asking for the first of his two convicted counts to be dismissed on the basis...

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Two Years After the Indictments, Where Are They Now?

It may seem like yesterday, but the bombshell that was the announcement that more than two dozen people had been indicted for their alleged role in a horse doping scheme was made exactly two years and two days ago. What has happened to the 29 individuals since the day that shook horse racing to its core? Here's a rundown: Jorge Navarro: Navarro pled guilty to one count of drug alteration and misbranding and was sentenced to five years in prison, the maximum allowable sentence. Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil was not...

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Trial Date for Servis Pushed Back to Early '23

The trial of alleged doping conspirator Jason Servis got pushed back to early 2023 at a status conference in federal court on Thursday. Robert Gearty of the Blood-Horse first broke the Feb. 24 story from United States District Court (Southern District of New York). Gearty reported that the former trainer's trial will take place in the first quarter of 2023 along with that of veterinarian Alexander Chan. Previously, Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil had been aiming for a mid-2022 trial for Servis, the most prominent name among the remaining defendants asserting...

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Harness Trainer Dane Enters Guilty Plea

Harness trainer Rick Dane Jr. became the latest of the indicted trainers, veterinarians and others in the federal investigation into racehorse doping to enter a guilty plea in federal court on Thursday, and has been ordered to pay a monetary judgement of $33,912. Dane accepted a government plea deal on Friday, Feb. 11, and changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. The agreement was made between Dane, his attorney, U. S. Attorney Damian Williams, and U. S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil. Several of the defendants who originally pled...

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Harness Trainer Dane Accepts Government Plea Deal

Harness trainer Rick Dane Jr., one of the 27 people indicted by the federal government on charges of doping racehorses, has accepted a plea offer from the government and his case will now not go to trial. The news was delivered in a Friday, Feb. 11 letter from United States attorney Damian Williams to Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil. "The Government writes on behalf of the Government and defense counsel for Rick Dane, Jr., the defendant in the above-captioned case, to alert the Court that the defendant has accepted a plea...

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