Kristian Rhein, a veterinarian involved in the Servis-Navarro doping scandal, has been granted a "change-of-plea" hearing. Such a change would necessarily reverse his initial "not-guilty" plea. The hearing is scheduled for August 3rd.
Rhein, formerly based at Belmont Park, was allegedly caught on tape by federal investigators bragging that he sold "a**loads" of illegal PEDs. He is charged for allegedly acting in part of a "widespread corrupt scheme" which dates back to 2017, involving trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, plus a large network of co-conspirators, all participating in the manufacturing of illegal PEDs across America and in international races. (Thoroughbred Daily News)
Why the sudden change?
Rhein's request for a change-of-plea comes shortly after co-defendant, Michael Kegley Jr., entered into a guilty plea last Friday. Kegley now faces up to 30 to 36 months in jail, and will be sentenced November 22. Read the full story on Kegley here.
As with Rhein, Kegley had originally pleaded not guilty to his charges.
Kegley, age 41 from Lexington, KY, was the sales director for a KY company called MediVet Equine Associates LLC. He admitted in court that the company produced and sold drugs not meant for racehorses. The primary drug sold was SGF-1000 — the very drug Rhein was boastful about selling.
Kegley, too, was caught on tape by the FBI via intercepted phone calls. Kegley was in conversation with trainer John Servis, where Servis admitted to using SGF-1000, saying "I've been using it on almost everything."
Kegley told a federal judge last Friday: "Beginning in 2016, I was an independent contractor for a company, MediVet Equine. We sold a variety of products, including SGF-1000. I sold these products to veterinarians, horse trainers. When I did that I knew there was no medical prescription for those products. Also at the time, I knew that the product was not manufactured in an FDA approved facility, nor was it approved for sale by the FDA."
Read the full story here.
Source: T.D. Thornton, ThroughbredDailyNews