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Several harness racing industry figures are denying fraud conspiracy charges alleging race fixing and electing trial by jury. Not guilty pleas were entered before Judge Raoul Neave at a Christchurch District Court session on Tuesday where 12 defendants arrested in the Operation Inca investigation made appearances. Bail conditions were relaxed as well, with the consent of the police prosecutor Barnaby Hawes. Passports can be returned to the defendants and they now only have bail conditions requiring them to live at specified addresses. All are on bail. Read the full story at Stuff   David Clarkson for Stuff

As reported by Stuff, wide-ranging suppressions apply to Canterbury harness racing figures who have appeared in court on charges including race fixing and drugs. Judge Raoul Neave refused suppressions for five of the group of nine whose cases have been dealt with at an all-day hearing in the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday. However, he realistically continued suppression orders to October 9 so those refused suppression can file appeal papers with the High Court. The suppression will continue until those appeals are heard. Because the defendants sought suppression of name, identifying details, and details of the charges, the appeals will block publication of those charge details as well for several of them. The charges can only be reported in general terms. All members of the group were remanded on bail for appearances on October 2. Read the full story here Stuff reporters

As reported by the New Zealand Herald a Palmerston North man appeared in court on a match-fixing charge in relation to a police investigation into the harness racing industry. Brent Stephen Wall, 47, made a brief appearance in the Palmerston North District Court this morning, where he pleaded not guilty to deception by match-fixing. Court documents allege that between May 18 and 22 he caused a loss of more than $1000 to other people by assisting a horse named Sportscaster to win with the intention of influencing the betting outcome.   Read the full story here   Courtesy of Kurt Bayer New Zealand Herald

Harness Racing participants Dayl March and Leonard Cain have had their licences reinstated after charges of race fixing against them were dropped last week.  The Brisbane Magistrates' Court dismissed the charges, citing a lack of evidence in both cases.  It is believed the Magistrate indicated in March’s case that there was insufficient evidence to proceed and the charges were subsequently withdrawn, The Courier Mail reported last week.  In the case of Cain, it is understood the prosecution asked for more time to produce witnesses, but the submission was rejected and the case dismissed. QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said both March and Cain had applied to have their racing licences reinstated.  “Mr Cain’s suspension has been lifted effective immediately and he is able to resume under his licence which remains current," Commissioner Barnett said.  “The licence of Mr March expired through the suspension period and he will be issued a renewal application directly. The suspension has been lifted however no current licence is in place at this stage. “QRIC stewards have yet to examine the circumstances of each case to determine whether any further action should be taken.” While March and Cain challenged their charges, former driver Barton Cockburn was fined $5,000 in October last year after pleading guilty to three charges relating to race fixing.  Cockburn was warned off all race tracks for life following his conviction. By Nick Hluchaniuk Reprinted with permission of The Punters

Race-fixing cases against harness racing participants Dayl March and Leonard Cain were dismissed in Brisbane Magistrates’ Court this week, leaving the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission and the Racing Crime Squad red-faced. Both decisions cited a lack of evidence as the reason for the dismissals. The cases of March and Cain were the first match-fixing charges to be contested in court relating to QRIC’s harness racing investigations, which were conducted by the Racing Crime Squad. Last October, Barton Cockburn pleaded guilty to three charges of match fixing, pertaining to races in November 2016 and was fined $5000. Soon after, Michael Grant also pleaded guilty to different charges relating to the same inquiry. At the time, Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said Cockburn’s conviction “should put an end to industry speculation about whether the Commission would be able to gather sufficient evidence to obtain convictions”. “I hope the fact that two of the three people we’ve charged so far have now pleaded guilty will be a reflection of the evidence that was gathered in these matters,” Barnett said at the time. However, Cain and March chose to defend the charges and their cases were thrown out of court on Wednesday and Thursday. It is understood in the case of trainer-driver March, the Magistrate indicated there was insufficient evidence to proceed and the charges were subsequently withdrawn. Harness driver Leonard Cain had his race-fixing case dismissed in the Brisbane Magistrates’ Court.  In the case of Cain, a harness driver, it is understood the prosecution asked for more time to produce witnesses, but the submission was rejected and the case dismissed. Both QRIC and the Queensland Police Service declined to comment on the March and Cain dismissals on Friday. March has been sidelined and unable to compete since having his license suspended in April last year. Initially he did not seek a stay of proceedings because he had hoped the matter would be resolved quickly. Later, when it became apparent the case would drag on, he was denied the stay. Originally published as Race-fixing cases thrown out of court   By Nathan Exelby   Reprinted with permission of news.com.au    

An Australian gambler was able to parlay A$1,600 (US$1,245) into an incredible A$56,000 (US$43,000) after pulling off an upset win during a horserace in February 2013. While he basked in his winnings and the attention he received after the long-shot victory, some began quietly questioning how it was possible. The truth has finally come out, with the gambler among 78 looking at charges of fraud. Edward Ridgway was the prophet who foresaw Alma’s Fury winning the race that day. The track was wet, which always resulted in a poor performance by the horse. Always, except for one race. That win unleashed an investigation that uncovered a history of fraudulent bets. All of the bets were perpetrated by the same individual, Stephen Charles Fletcher, who was already in hot water for receiving insider information in various gambling activities, according to The Sydney Morning Herald report. Fletcher was first introduced to authorities in 2006 after he and his betting partner, Eddie Hayson, had won millions wagering on a rugby match. Authorities accused the pair of learning prior to the match that a key player wouldn’t be on the field due to an injury, and used the information to enter their bets. Both Fletcher and Hayson denied the allegations, and there wasn’t enough proof for a conviction. However, Fletcher was subsequently banned from gambling. From September 2012 to March 2013, Fletcher used the identities of 77 individuals, including police officers, to continue his betting activities, according to the report. He has been shown to have been behind bets placed at a number of horserace tracks around Australia, and also in Hong Kong and Singapore. In one instance, he used Ridgway’s account in a horserace in Hong Kong, turning US$233 into US$13,774. In February 2013, Fletcher made 28 bets under the names of others in racing events ranging from greyhounds in Western Australia to harness racing in Penrith. Former police officers Senior Constable Marc Smith and Senior Constable Tony Williams were also caught up in the investigation. The duo face charges for soliciting fellow officers to join in on the fraud. It has been determined that Williams met Fletcher through the latter’s friend, Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, who is also under investigation. Fletcher has now been charged with 78 counts of “dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.” Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in an Aussie prison. Knowing his propensity for using others’ identities, authorities will probably want to make sure it’s really him before sending him away. By Erik Gibbs Reprinted with permission of Calvinayre.com site

A man has been charged with cheating at gambling offences as part of an ongoing investigation into the fixing of harness races in NSW. Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad established Strike Force Antree to investigate reports of race fixing in the harness racing industry in NSW. Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested a 23-year-old man at Dubbo just after 9am today (Thursday 1 March 2018). He was taken to Dubbo Police Station and charged with two counts of engage in conduct that corrupts betting outcome and use corrupt information to bet on event. Police will allege in court that the man administered two horses with banned performance-enhancing substances ahead of a harness race meet at Parkes on Sunday 6 August 2017. He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Dubbo Local Court on Tuesday 24 April 2018. Shortly after the arrest, strike force detectives, assisted by officers from Orana Mid Western Police District and Western Region Enforcement Squad, executed a search warrant at a home on Roper Street, Dubbo. Detectives seized documentation, including sports betting account information; and performance-enhancing substances. Investigations under Strike Force Antree are continuing. Police are urging anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Antree investigators to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our social media pages.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is investigating an allegation of harness racing fixing at the racetracks in Leamington and Dresden. The ACGO regulates horse racing in Ontario under the authority of the Horse Racing Licence Act. AGCO spokesperson Ray Kahnert says “investigators in London did receive a call from a member of the public with concerns about racing at Leamington and Dresden.” “The AGCO review of this allegation is not complete,” says Kahnert. “AGCO Racing Investigators continue to gather information.” He adds the fairness and integrity of horse racing is of paramount concern to the AGCO. Wayne Martinuik, the general manager and treasurer of the Leamington horse racing group says “the allegations are false.” “The individual who made the allegation did this out of malice,” says Martinuik. The chair of the Lakeshore Racing Group, Tom Bain, says he only just learned of the investigation today and believes they will find no wrongdoing Bain believes the complaint has been filed by an owner of a thoroughbred, not a standardbred, which are raced in Leamington and Dresden. “It’s very frustrating, I'm really disappointed,” says Bain. “We had our best year in recent history in that we broke our attendance record and we broke our betting record with over $41,000 bet in one day.” Gary Patterson at Dresden Raceway says he is also disappointed by the allegation. Patterson tells CTV Windsor he is confident they will be cleared of any wrongdoing, and he hopes it doesn’t hurt their plans for the 2018 racing season. CTV Windsor received information that an investigation into race fixing during the 2017 seasons at Leamington Raceway and Dresden Raceway began in November. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the ACGO at 519-668-7558 or 1-800-522-2876. CTV Windsor

A Shelbourne harness racing trainer has been fined $20,000 for his role in fixing three races in country Victoria in 2014. Larry Eastman, 60, was sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to five dishonesty offences. A magistrate said Eastman’s conduct reflected poorly on the honest and hard working people of the local harness racing industry. Eastman came to police attention during their investigation of Mildura father-and-son harness racing figures Shayne and Greg Cramp, when Eastman was involved in intercepted phone calls. His conduct involved using the technique of drenching, involving placing a tube down the horse’s throat and adding a mixture of alkalising agents, sodiums and bicarbonate – illegal within 48 hours of a race as it gives horses an unfair advantage. Eastman was aware that the horse Cashiking was drenched four hours before Race 7 at Nyah at Swan Hill on December 2, 2014. Cashiking’s odds shortened from $35 the day before to $8.50 after a “noticeable betting plunge”. Two Queensland men bet on Eastman’s behalf in an attempt to disguise his betting activity. Cashiking won the race, and the associates of Eastman won $22,110. Eastman drenched the horse Waterslide three to five hours before Race 5 at Charlton on December 8, 2014. He planned for the horse to win the race, but not as “convincingly” as it did. The horse was held back for a blood test by stewards. Eastman attempted to inject potassium to mask the effects of drenching, but knocked the syringe down the back of the horse stall. An associate of Eastman managed to inject Waterslide.  Eastman pictured with Menin Gate in 2015.    Eastman told the associate that what they did “goes to your grave”. He also said the syringe would be found in 2060 when they are “pulling the joint down”. Eastman placed a successful $200 bet at three-to-one for a profit of $400. Almost three years later, detectives found the syringe in the stall. Eastman then told an associate to drench the horse Dynamite Dick three hours before Race 5 at Horsham on December 15, 2014. The associate was driving another horse, which was the favourite for the race. He was instructed to allow Dynamite Dick to win. Eastman told his Queensland associate that the horse would be “getting a bit of help”. Eastman bet $200 on the race. His associates won a combined $13,655. Three days later, Eastman arranged to make a number of losing bets in an attempt to hide his betting activity. Detectives started investigating Eastman at the time, but took more than three years before charges were laid. Eastman has since surrendered his racing licence after being involved in harness racing for 44 years. No one else involved in the race fixing has been subject to criminal charges. Defence counsel Robert Timms said Eastman fixed the races after encountering financial difficulty in 2014, and claimed he only had $400 left in his account for Christmas. No documents were tendered to court to prove his financial status at the time. Mr Timms said it was unfortunate because in 2015 Eastman had a number of group 1 winners. “The bizarre thing is that he engaged in this corrupt activity, and appears to have obtained less than $2000 out of it,” he said. “We have a man who has lead an exemplary life up until this time of extreme financial hardship. “He has now lost the opportunity for him to work within the industry, the only industry he has ever worked in.” Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Alan Walker said a prison term was within range for the offending. Magistrate Patrick Southey said the offending put the public’s faith in harness racing at risk. “If the public say ‘I don’t trust it, I’ve had enough of it, I’ll follow another sport,’ all those innocent hard working people will be impacted,” he said. “I’m sure you will accept that the racing industry employs a lot of good people. Honest and hard-working, with a genuine love of horses. “Their livelihoods will be put at risk if the public turn their back on it.” Eastman was convicted and fined $20,000, with $122.30 in court costs. By Adam Holmes Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

It would not be Christmas without a message. As we come to the end of the calendar year, most harness racing participants would be considering the effect that the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has had on harness in recent months. With a number of leading lights arrested for "race fixing” and allied activities in recent months, there is division in the ranks. Not all are grateful for a process which is aimed at cleaning up a sport. The "nay sayers” called for more prizemoney and complained bitterly at the cost of QRIC, claiming that the funds involved would be better spent being funnelled into the pockets of the handful of trainers who had been getting the lions share for the past two decades. The recent election delivered the opposition promise to emasculate QRIC should they be returned to power. Enough said. Anyone with recollections of night trotting years ago will agree as to the superiority of the spectacle. If QRIC can provide us with a squeaky clean product, and our administrators with a punter friendly racing format, then we will have the Christmas present of our dreams. Harness participants will have the opportunity to rebuild harness to a stage where punters will happily bet on it, come to watch it in the flesh and a reasonable number will develop an interest in owning, training and driving. There is the message. Narissa's reward GLAMORGANVALE based trainer/driver Narissa McMullen has added another trophy to the cabinet, taking out the Australian Young Driver's Championship conducted at Recliffe and Albion Park last week. McMullen finished the series on 96 points, seven clear of Dylan Ferguson (New Zealand) on 89. Chris Geary (NSW) finished with 75 in third, while Jason Lee (Victoria) ended on 72 points. McMullen's series got off to a flier on the opening night when she won the opening two heats at Redcliffe to take the early series lead. Ferguson and Sheree Tomlinson claimed the next two heats for the Kiwis, before Lee and Geary took maximum points on the second night. McMullen made it another double on the final night, leading all the way on Parisian Rockstar at Albion on Saturday, with Lee and Jayden Brewin (South Australia) collecting wins ahead of the final. The win meant McMullen had followed the footsteps of her renowned father John McMullen, who won the 1986 Inter Dominion Young Drivers Series. He beat a star-studded field which featured the likes of Mark Purdon and Anthony Butt, whose daughter Kimberly Butt represented New Zealand in the 2017 event. "(Dad) always talks about it,” McMullen laughed. "It was good to be able to say 'now I've got a win too'. The family was really excited.” Vital new role THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner has announced the appointment of a new Director of Licensing and Stewarding - Ali Wade. "Ms Wade has acted in the role in a relieving capacity for much of the past year after transitioning to the Commission as Manager of Licensing and Registration,'' Commissioner Ross Barnett said. "Prior to that, she worked at Racing Queensland in several senior management roles including Senior Manager of Stewarding and Integrity Operations after joining that organisation in 2006.'' The Director of Licensing and Stewarding is tasked with overseeing the work of 35 stewards across Queensland and the licensing and registration teams. "Ms Wade comes to the role at a time of significant change in the racing industry, including greater community expectations for the welfare of animals and the integrity of the three codes of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing,” Barnett said. Wade said she was looking forward to ensuring Queensland's racing industry maintained the highest standards for integrity and animal welfare. "This is a great honour and I'd like to give special mention to the support I have received from the chief stipendiary steward for thoroughbreds Mr Allan Reardon,” Wade said. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Quinella 1-3: Chapter One (T Dixon). and Polished Rocks). R2: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Nui Toc Tien (C. Petroff)-Rate Highly (N McMullen)-Mojo Major (G Dixon). R3: Quinella 3-4: Young American and Long Road To Fame (A Sanderson). R4: Quinella 1-5: Franco Revel (C Hart) and Chal Fire (K Dawson). R5: Quinella 1-7: Arrokeefe (N McMulen) and Jakes A Joy (G Dixon). R6: Box trifecta 5-8-11: Feel The Courage (C Turpin)- Catcha Lefty (C Cini)- Avonnova (Mark Dux). R7: E/w 8: Overlap (C Turpin). R8: quinella 4-5: Midnight Prowler (N McMullen) and Pompidou (G Dixon). R9: Quinella 2-6: Our Diamond Edition (A Millard) and Heavens Hint (P McMullen). R10: Box trifecta 1-5-6: Its All Go (M Elkins)-Baltic Blue Eyes (A Gorman)-Shadow Pass (B Graham). R11: Box trifecta 3-4-9: Twice As Much (Wayne Graham)-Stoned Again (C Petroff)-Releven Dream (P McMullen). Honour board Trainers shared the success this week with Greg Elkins, Chantal Turpin, Ron Sallis, Bill Crosby and Jason Carkeet with two winners apiece. On the driver's side, Narissa McMullen nosed out dead heaters Pete McMullen, Matt Elkins and Gary Whitaker scoring five to four. Narissa was most pleasing as well, winning a national championship. Albion Park, December 15: Always My Mate (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Maretti (Chris McGeary for Phil Mitchell); Firebby (Danielle McMullen for Chris Monte); Seven Rippin Aces (Kelli Dawson for Jamie Donovan); Govinni (Hayden Barnes for Al Barnes). Albion Park, December 16: Parisian Rockstar (Narissa McMullen for Peter Greig); Mojo Major (Narissa McMullen for Kerryann Turner); Platinum Art (Matt Elkins for Kay Crone); Village Witch (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini). Marburg, December 16: Living Free (Justin Pascoe for Phil Keats); Cheyenne Warrior (Matt Elkins for Richard Hutchin- son); Riverleigh Jeff (Gary Whitaker for Tess Neaves); Elzboy (Adam Richardson for Steve Towns); Its All Go (Matt Elkins); Lots More Grins (Hayden Barnes for Wayne Davis); How We Roll (GaryWhitaker for Bill Crosby). Albion Park, December 19: Likes To Rock (Gary Whitaker for Vic Frost); Gloveman Gilly (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Sicilian Slumber (Danielle McMullen for Lachie Manzelmaan); Comply Or Die (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Yankee Strutter (Trent Dawson for Max Towns). Redcliffe, December 20: My Mojo (Danielle McMullen for Jason Carkeet); Vader (Dan Russell); Cotton Cold Candy (Pete McMullen for Jason Carkeet); Georgia Grace (Adam Sanderson for Shawn Grimsey); Heavens Hurricane (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin). Redcliffe, December 21: Tascott Lady (Taleah McMullen for John McMullen); How We Roll (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Cryptic Chance (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Monkseaton (Chris Petroff for Jay Edmunds); Mista Natural (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Punters Delight (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

A Shelbourne harness racing trainer has pleaded guilty to his role in fixing three races in country Victoria in 2014, two of which involved his own horses. Larry Eastman, 60, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to five charges including use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes, and engaging in conduct to corrupt a betting outcome. The court heard Eastman had nasogastric intubation – known as “stomach tubing” or “drenching” – administered to two of his horses within 48 hours of race meets, and knew of a third horse that was illegally receiving the technique. The technique is illegal within 48 hours of races as it can enhance performance through improved rehydration. It involves placing a tube down the throat of the horse and adding a mixture of alkalising agents, sodiums and bicarbonate. Eastman then encouraged others to bet on the races on his behalf, knowing that the horses had this advantage. His horse Cashiking was administered stomach tubing before race 7 at Nyah at Swan Hill on December 2, 2014. Related: Integrity commissioner tackles corruption in harness racing industry Eastman administered stomach tubing to another of his horses, Waterslide, for race 5 at Charlton on December 8, 2014. Eastman then had the driver inject the horse with potassium a short time after the race to conceal the effects of stomach tubing from Harness Racing Victoria authorities. Eastman personally gained $400 from betting $200 on the three-to-one result. Eastman also knew that horse Dynamite Dick had been administered stomach tubing before race 5 at Horsham on December 15, 2014. He had two other men bet on his behalf. Eastman came to the attention of police during their investigation into Shayne and Greg Cramp, of Mildura, who were later sentenced in relation to race fixing offences. Police intercepted a phone call between Eastman and one of the men, and suspected Eastman was also involved in “corrupt conduct”. The practice of stomach tubing, or drenching, has been the subject of “strict controls” for racing worldwide. Defence counsel Robert Timms said Eastman’s offending was small compared to others in the harness racing industry. “My client, as part of the plea, was a small fish in a much bigger pond,” he said. “The co-accused in Mildura were involved in far more.” Mr Timms said he would be asking the court to sentence Eastman to a community corrections order, or a fine. Eastman will be sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on February 2. By Adam Holmes Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Three people alleged to be involved in a harness racing fixing scandal at Cobram more than two years ago will have to wait until next year to find out the outcome of the case against them. Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley yesterday faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court for the 13th and final day of a contested hearing. Magistrate John Murphy decided to receive final written submissions from the prosecution and defence out of court. ‘‘I’m satisfied there is a case to answer against all of the accused,’’ he said. Yesterday, Gary Hevey attempted to re-open the prosecution’s case after taking instructions from higher authorities. ‘‘A situation has arisen, I have been asked to re-open the prosecution case,’’ he said. Mr Murphy ruled Victoria Police telephone intercepts admissible this week. ‘‘Those instructing me have taken a different view,’’ Mr Hevey said. ‘‘They say I should re-open the prosecution case for utilising telephone intercepts post-offending. (I) propose for your honour to rule admissible the telephone intercepts and material post-offending.’’ Mr Jack’s lawyer Anthony Lewis said none of the telephone intercepts were ‘‘admissible to incriminating conduct’’. ‘‘It will prolong the proceeding,’’ he argued. Mr Murphy agreed, saying it would lengthen the case, querying the need for the telephone intercepts as the crown already had numerous text messages admitted into evidence. ‘‘(What is) the relevance of this further material? It would extend the case by at least one or two days,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t allow the prosecution to re-open the case.’’ The court case was adjourned about noon yesterday, with a ruling set to be made on the three accused in April. HEARING SUMMARY Nathan Jack, Amanda Turnbull, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley pleaded not guilty to charges of engaging in, facilitating and possessing knowledge and/or information about conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. The charges relate to an allegedly fixed race at Cobram on June 22, 2015, after which an investigation was launched into the tactics adopted during the event and information provided to Harness Racing Victoria on the stabling arrangements of a horse. Of the accused, only Mr Jack and Mr Pitt took part in the race. Prosecutors allege Mr Jack, driving Tooram Lad, allowed Airbournemagic, driven by Mr Pitt, to win the race. The court has heard from representatives who have spoken about betting patterns before the race, while the father of Ms Bartley was excused from giving evidence against his daughter. Earlier in the hearing, Harness Racing Victoria evidence was thrown out and not used during the hearing as it was found to be involuntarily obtained. The hearing started on Monday, November 27, in front of Magistrate John Murphy and entered its third week on Monday. This week, charges against previous co-accused Ms Turnbull were dismissed. By Hayden Thomson  

All the charges relating to Amanda Turnbull’s alleged involvement in a Cobram race fixing scandal were dismissed in court yesterday, after prosecution and defence lawyers came to an agreement. Within the first few minutes of yesterday’s proceedings in the contested hearing, which is in its third week at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court, prosecutor Gary Hevey asked Magistrate John Murphy to dismiss the charges against Ms Turnbull. ‘‘In relation to Ms Turnbull, the crown is not going to present further evidence,’’ he said. ‘‘I invite your honour to dismiss the charges against her.’’ Mr Murphy agreed, dismissing the charges against Ms Turnbull due to a lack of evidence. With that, Ms Turnbull and her family and friends stood up and left the court room in silence. Lisa Bartley’s defence lawyer Rohan Laurence then submitted to the court his client had no case to answer — as there was a ‘‘hole’’ in the prosecution case. He said this was on the grounds that Ms Bartley’s conduct did not directly affect the outcome of the race as she was not a driver of Airbournemagic, Tooram Lad, or any other horse in the race in question. ‘‘None of Ms Bartley’s conduct occurs in the race,’’ Mr Laurence told the court. ‘‘But instead occurs in a period of one month before the race. (Her) conduct does not relate to the event or the running of the event, her conduct had no bearing on the result of the race. ‘‘Significantly, it is not alleged (by the prosecution) that it did.’’ Mr Hevey argued that if betting agencies knew Airbournemagic was being trained at well-known harness racing driver Nathan Jack’s place, as Ms Bartley knew, the odds would have been different. ‘‘(There was) no other purpose than to keep the odds long, it continued during the race when Mr Bartley’s (David Bartley, Lisa Bartley’s father) colours were used,’’ Mr Hevey said. Mr Jack’s defence lawyer, Anthony Lewis, adopted the submissions made by Mr Laurence in relation to his client’s charges. ‘‘There is no evidence to support the allegation (that) ... conduct would inflate betting odds of Airbournemagic,’’ he said. Mr Lewis then claimed Mr Jack was a less successful trainer than David Bartley. ‘‘There is now evidence that, had the regulated betting agencies known Mr Jack was the trainer, that would not have made any difference ... to the odds.’’ Yesterday, Mr Murphy made a ruling to include admissions made in Victoria Police interviews, after defence lawyers submitted they be dismissed. The hearing continues. HEARING SUMMARY Nathan Jack, Amanda Turnbull, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley have pleaded not guilty to charges of engaging in, facilitating and possessing knowledge and/or information about conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. The charges relate to an allegedly fixed race at Cobram on June 22, 2015, after which an investigation was launched into the tactics adopted during the event and information provided to Harness Racing Victoria on the stabling arrangements of a horse. Of the four accused, only Mr Jack and Mr Pitt took part in the race. Prosecutors allege Mr Jack, driving Tooram Lad, allowed Airbournemagic, driven by Mr Pitt, to win the race. The court has heard from representatives who have spoken about betting patterns before the race, while the father of Ms Bartley was excused from giving evidence against his daughter. Earlier in the hearing, Harness Racing Victoria evidence was thrown out and not used during the hearing as it was found to be involuntarily obtained. The hearing started on Monday, November 27, in front of Magistrate John Murphy and entered its third week on Monday. Yesterday, charges against Ms Turnbull were dismissed. by Hayden Thomson Reprinted with permission of The Sheppaton News

A man accused of lying to a Queensland corruption watchdog investigation into harness racing match-fixing has been charged with perjury as the cheating scandal around the industry continues. The 35-year-old, who was charged with match-fixing in November, is accused of lying to the Crime and Corruption Commission about his participation in match- fixing conduct and the release of inside information. His perjury charges come after Queensland’s championship-leading driver and prominent industry identity Shane Robert Graham and another of the state’s top harness racing drivers, Leonard Cain, were charged on Sunday in relation to the long-running sting. Graham has been charged with two counts of disclosing the knowledge to another about a relevant bet, two counts of facilitating match-fixing conduct for a pecuniary benefit and one count of encouraging another person to make a relevant bet. Shane Graham at the Beenleigh watchhouse. Photo Annette Dew The alleged cheating operation was at the time likened by Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett to organised crime. The allegations of match-fixing centre on two races at Albion Park in July and October. On Monday, a 65-year-old man was charged over allegations he knew of a match-fixing arrangement when he put bets on a race. Those charged under the ongoing investigation into major and organised crime around racing circles remain before the courts. “The Queensland racing crime squad will pursue all information received regarding match-fixing and criminal conduct across all codes of racing,” Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said on Tuesday. Reprinted with the permission of The Courier Mail

Detectives have smashed a hole in the harness racing industry, arresting three major identities over race fixing including arguably Australia’s best driver. Shane Graham, Leonard Cain and Vicki Rasmussen were arrested this morning, with the trio charged with match fixing. Graham, 35, has topped the harness racing industry in Queensland for the past four years, with horses he has driven winning more than $5m in prize money. He was selected in August this year to represent Australia at the world harness driving championships in Canada. Horses trained by Rasmussen earned more than $1.6 million in prizemoney from 2015-17. Graham and Rasmussen are understood to have previously being in a relationship. The arrests involve detectives from the Queensland Police Racing Crime Squad, assisted by Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards. Detectives allege Race 2 at Albion Park on July 28 was fixed. Graham won the race on horse Dapper (NZ) and Cain came second, with detectives alleging Cain gave up the lead in the race. Dapper had starting odds of $7. Rasmussen was the trainer for Cain’s horse January, which had starting odds of $2.90. Graham and Rasmussen have also been charged with an additional count of match fixing for a race on October 6. Vicki Rasmussen and Shane Graham QIRC Commissioner Ross Barnett said three of the top six drivers in Queensland had been charged with race fixing offences in the past six months. “While it is match fixing, what it really is in its heart is cheating and stealing,” he said. “These people are stealing prize money from the other participants in races who are honest, hard-working, people who are just seeking a fair go. “These people are also telling their friends who are betting on these races and reaping significant benefits – that is stealing from the bookmakers who accept those bets in good faith. “But most importantly they are stealing hope from the participants in the industry who are honest and are trying to do the right thing.” Mr Barnett said Graham currently led the Queensland driver’s championship and was third in the trainer’s championship. He said the driving and training licences of Graham would be suspended. Cain would also have his driver licence suspended. Rasmussen previously held a trainer’s licence but it lapsed this year. Queensland Police Racing Crime Squad Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said the arrests should be a significant warning to anyone involved in any of the racing codes that they would be caught if involved in match fixing or sharing inside information with betting. “It’s doesn’t matter who you are, you will be charged and put before the court,” he said. Insp Dowie said a fourth person was expected to be charged today, who had allegedly been given inside information and made bets with bookmakers. Mr Barnett said: “We can’t say the activity is rare”. Graham has been charged with two counts of discloses the knowledge to another about a relevant bet relating to the race at Albion Park on October 6. He is also charged with two counts of facilitating match-fixing conduct pecuniary benefit relating to a race at Albion Park on July 28 and the race at Albion Park on October 6, and one count of encouraging another person to make a relevant bet relating to the race in July. Rasmussen, 39, has been charged with two counts of facilitating match-fixing conduct pecuniary benefit relating to the race in July and the race in October. Cain has been charged with one count of facilitating match-fixing conduct pecuniary benefit relating to the July race. The arrests follow four others charged with unrelated match fixing offences. Top harness racing driver Matthew Neilson has been charged with match fixing. In October, driver Barton Cockburn pleaded guilty to fixing two races. Stuart Hunter, a former licensed stablehand, has also been charged with fixing two races. One race was at Albion Park and the other at Globe Derby Park in South Australia. Harness identify Marshall Dobson was charged with running a fake betting account worth millions of dollars. The maximum penalty for match fixing is 10 years in jail. By Thomas Chamberlin, The Courier-Mail Repriunted with permission of The Courier-Mail

A champion harness racing figure accused of serious corruption has been caught telling a worker of plans to “pull up” his horse the day before a race in which his associates allegedly won thousands of dollars. The alleged admission by Shepparton driver Nathan Jack was made in a text to stable­hand Lisa Bartley, hours before the allegedly rigged race in Cobram on June 22, 2015. Mr Jack, Ms Bartley and fellow co-accused racing ­identities Mark Pitt and Amanda Turnbull have each pleaded not guilty to corrupting the race’s betting outcome. It is alleged Mr Jack and fellow driver Mr Pitt manipulated the race by allowing Airborne Magic to win, after Mr Jack “pulled up” his horse, Tooram Lam. Police also alleged the racehorse had been secretly trained at a more elite facility before the race, creating unfair betting odds. Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday heard Mr Jack texted Ms Bartley a day before the race: “I’m pulling up that horse tomorrow.” A month later, a seemingly distressed Ms Bartley told him they could “never use one of Dad’s horses again”. “When we took Metro (nickname for Airborne Magic), Dad said he didn’t want anything to do with him, and any money he won, I was to have,” said Ms Bartley in a text read in court. “I rang him before to get him to take the money to Echuca, but he has already spent it.” The court heard Ms Bartley declined an offer of money by Mr Jack, who replied: “If it wasn’t one of yours, we wouldn’t have got anything.” Mr Jack later told Ms Bartley police “have nothing and can’t use phone taps” when discussing the probe via text in October. He was also heard telling his girlfriend, Ms Turnbull, how to answer police questions about the race. “If they interview us again, say you don’t remember anything. That’s what I’ll be saying,” he said in an intercepted phone call played in court. The Herald Sun previously reported as much as $30,000 was won by figures connected to the “Cobram Crew”. A probe was launched after a series of bets dramatically lowered Airborne Magic’s odds shortly before the race. During her police interview, Ms Bartley confessed to winning about $2000 on the race. The court heard Ms Turnbull admitted telling her brother, Nathan, to bet on Airborne Magic. He allegedly pocketed $2600. Ms Turnbull denied she backed Airborne Magic and made more than $2200. The accused foursome faces up to 10 years’ jail. The hearing continues next week. By Aneeka Simonis - Herald Sun Reprinted with permission of The Daily Telegraph  

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