Lisa Giannelli

Judge Says No to Fishman Conviction Dismissal

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by prison-bound veterinarian Seth Fishman to dismiss Count One of his two racehorse doping conspiracy convictions. Fishman, whose 26 months as a defendant have been hallmarked by minor courtroom dramas, various attempts to prevent or delay the trial, and accusations that he continued to peddle purported performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) while free on bail, had argued that he was tried twice for the same crime because the first count was contained within the second, much broader conspiracy. Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil of United...

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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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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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Giannelli Trial Continues

Lisa Giannelli testified at her horse doping trial May 4 that she had a good reason for wanting to testify in her own defense. "To tell my story," she told the jury in U.S. District Court in New York. She is on trial on a conspiracy charge, accused of assisting veterinarian Seth Fishman in the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs that prosecutors say were used by corrupt trainers to dope racehorses in violation of racing regulations. During three hours of questioning by her attorney Louis Fasulo, Giannelli, who admitted being nervous...

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Final Witnesses on Stand in Giannelli Trial

by Bill Finley and Robert Gearty Federal prosecutors called their final witnesses May 3 at the New York horse doping trial of Lisa Giannelli. The end of the government's case sets the stage for what could be the trial's climax: Giannelli's testimony in her own defense. The trial resumes May 4. The government's witnesses Tuesday included Adrienne Hall, a harness trainer who also testified against veterinarian Seth Fishman, whom prosecutors believe Giannelli conspired with, and a retired special investigator with the Pennsylvania Racing Commission. Hall testified that after first reaching...

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Government Witnesses Take Stand in Giannelli Trial

Conor Flynn, a witness at Lisa Giannelli's horse doping trial May 2, testified that he was a former harness trainer who understood the penalties for violating race-day medication rules. "You're not supposed to administer any drugs on race day," Flynn, 32, told the jury on the trial's fourth day in U.S. District Court in New York. Flynn is testifying for the government as a cooperating witness--the second cooperator to flip and testify against Giannelli who is on trial on a charge of conspiring to misbrand and adulterate drugs. The other...

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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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Cohen Testifies in Giannelli Trial

Day two of Lisa Giannelli's horse-doping trial in a New York courtroom began April 28 with opening statements and ended with testimony from an ex-harness trainer turned government cooperating witness. "The defendant wasn't just in the doping business, she was in the deception business," prosecutor Benjamin Gianforte told the jury in U.S. District Court in New York. But defense attorney Louis Fasulo countered by saying that his client couldn't be found guilty because her actions lacked criminal intent. "Intent," he wrote in large letters on a computer screen for the...

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Lisa Giannelli Trial Begins

Jury selection kicked off April 27 in the trial of a Delaware woman who prosecutors say helped veterinarian Dr. Seth Fishman supply illegal performance-enhancing drugs to trainers who used them to secretly dope horses to win races. By day's end, a jury of eight men and four women was sworn in to hear the case against Lisa Giannelli in U.S. District Court in New York. Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil scheduled opening statements for Apr. 28. The government has two FBI agents lined up to testify as their first witnesses. Giannelli...

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Feds Fight Fishman Attempt to Merge Convicted Counts

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday filed a formal opposition to convicted veterinarian Seth Fishman's recent attempt to dismiss Count One of his two racehorse doping convictions. Fishman is arguing that he was essentially tried twice for the same crime, because the first count was contained within the second, much broader conspiracy. The feds see it differently: "While there are notable foundational similarities between the two conspiracies, namely, the aim of moving drugs interstate to corruptly improve racehorse performance, the focus and scale of each conspiracy differed significantly," stated the government's Mar....

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Fishman Wants Court to Merge Two Convictions

Thirty-four days after being found guilty by jury trial on two felony counts of conspiring to violate adulteration and misbranding laws in the nationwide racehorse doping case, the Florida-based veterinarian Seth Fishman made a motion in federal court asking for the first of those counts to be dismissed on the basis that it is allegedly "multiplicitous of" (already contained within) the second, much broader conspiracy. Fishman's Mar. 8 filing in United States District Court (Southern District of New York) is likely the first of several legal steps leading to a...

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Former Harness Trainer Cohen Testifies in Fishman Trial

It was nearly two years ago when former Standarbred trainer Ross Cohen was among 27 trainers, veterinarians and others snared in the largest horse doping prosecution in U.S. history. In a New York courtroom Jan. 26, Cohen surfaced on the stand as a key government witness against Dr. Seth Fishman--the first of those arrested in the case in Mar. 2020 to go to trial on charges of conspiring to violate adulteration and misbranding laws. As Fishman observed from the defense table, Cohen testified that when he was training horses at...

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