Trial Groupings Reset for Defendants in Alleged Doping Conspiracy

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Jason ServisJockey Club of Saudi Arabia

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In the wake of nine defendants in the alleged nationwide horse-doping conspiracy case having changed their pleas to “guilty” in recent months, a Nov. 4 status hearing reset the trial groupings for the remaining defendants, with those trials all now anticipated to commence in the first half of 2022.

Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil of United States District Court (Southern District of New York) also ordered that all remaining motions to suppress evidence that are pending on the docket are to be considered denied, noting that her written opinion on that decision is forthcoming.
Trial Group I shall now consist of defendants Seth Fishman and Lisa Gianelli. They had been previously advised their trial will commence on or about Jan. 19, 2022.

Group II shall consist of defendants Rick Dane Jr. and Rebecca Linke. On Thursday, the judge told them to expect to face a trial in the latter part of the first quarter of 2022.

Group III defendants Jason Servis, Erica Garcia, Michael Tannuzzo and Alexander Chan will be tried together at a date that has not yet been set. On Thursday, the judge ordered the prosecution and defense attorneys to get together over the next week to hash out a proposed schedule for the filing of related briefs, after which a trial date can be established by the court.

The now-barred trainers Servis and Jorge Navarro are the two highest-profile defendants in the case.

Navarro has already pled guilty to one count of conspiring to administer non-FDA-approved, misbranded and adulterated drugs, including PEDs that Navarro believed would be untestable and undetectable.

Navarro faces five years in prison at his December sentencing, and has admitted in open court that he doped the now-deceased elite sprinter X Y Jet and other graded stakes stars of his stable over a period of years. Navarro's plea deal also stipulates that he must pay $25.8 million to a list of victims that has not yet been made public.

Servis was the trainer of the former $16,000 maiden-claimer Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first in the 2019 GI Kentucky Derby but was disqualified for interference.

As evidence against Servis's alleged felonies, the feds have purportedly recorded him in numerous wiretapped phone conversations discussing with Navarro the doping regimens of top horses in his care, including administering injections of PEDs to Maximum Security.

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