An operator of several pharmaceutical websites charged with conspiring to unlawfully distribute adulterated and misbranded performance-enhancing drugs for racehorses with the intent to defraud and mislead pled guilty April 23 in United States District Court.
Scott Mangini, 55, had been arrested and charged in a superseding indictment along with Craig Robinson for operating the HorsePreRace.com and HorseGold.com outlets that were at the center of federal indictments stemming from an investigation of a widespread scheme by racehorse trainers, veterinarians, PED distributors, and others to manufacture, distribute, and receive adulterated and misbranded PEDs and to secretly administer those PEDs to racehorses competing at all levels of the sport.
Trainers Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro, who are still awaiting trial, are the most prominent names among that group.
With the guilty plea, Mangini will face a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Robinson previously pled guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison and forced to forfeit $3.8 million for his role in the scheme.
“Scott Mangini created and flooded the supply side of a market of greed that continues to endanger racehorses through the sale of performance-enhancing drugs,” said Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Mangini designed and created dozens of products intended for use by those engaged in fraud and animal abuse. His products were manufactured with no oversight of their composition, in shoddy facilities, despite prior efforts by state and federal regulators to shut down Mangini’s operation and strip his license. Mangini’s guilty plea underscores that our office and our partners at the FBI are committed to the prosecution and investigation of corruption, fraud, and endangerment in the horse racing industry.”
Mangini and fellow conspirators were charged with manufacturing, selling, and shipping millions of dollars’ worth of adulterated and misbranded equine drugs, including PEDs, intended to be administered to racehorses for the purpose of improving those horses’ race performance to win races and obtain purse money for a period covering at least 2011 through March 2020 when the indictments were first announced.
According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Mangini contributed to the conspiracy by, among other things, designing and creating custom PEDs that were advertised and sold online, using misleading labels, packaging, and return address information, including sales to customers in the Southern District of New York.
Among the drugs advertised and sold during the course of the conspiracy were “blood builders,” which are used by racehorse trainers and others to increase red blood cell counts and/or the oxygenation of muscle tissue of a racehorse in order to improve the horse’s endurance, which enhances that horse’s performance in, and recovery from, a race; as well as customized analgesics that are used by racehorse trainers and others to deaden a horse’s nerves and block pain in order to improve a horse’s race performance.
Mangini, of Boca Raton, Fla., submitted his plea to U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken and will be sentenced Sept. 10.