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Poliseno Sentenced to Four Months in Doping Case

Penalties include $2 million forfeiture order.

Wiki Media Commons

Donato Poliseno was sentenced on Jan. 25 to serve four months in federal custody in connection with doping offenses in harness racing.

Poliseno, 72, entered a guilty plea on May 17 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to a single charge of entering into interstate commerce misbranded and adulterated drugs. In a sentencing submission, assistant U.S. attorney Sarah Mortazavi wrote that Poliseno fraudulently used veterinary licenses of complicit veterinarians to obtain and widely disseminate adulterated and misbranded drugs to racehorse trainers.

The government's position on Poliseno's incarceration was merely to ask for "some term of imprisonment." Poliseno's attorneys, Louis M. Freeman and Nadjia Limani, argued for time served.

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge P. Kevin Castel entered a forfeiture order of over $2 million and ordered the former owner of Equine Vet Supplies to serve one year of supervised release. As part of his plea agreement eight months ago, Poliseno agreed to the money judgment. Assuming health issues for both Poliseno and his wife are as described to the court, Poliseno's ability to generate future earnings is limited.

The case against Poliseno brought in 2020 is connected to horse doping charges filed the same year against Richard Banca, Louis Grasso, Rene Allard, and Thomas Guido III. All of them were in the harness racing business, and each of their cases resolved with the entry of a guilty plea.

Service of Poliseno's sentence was ordered to commence June 20.