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Tote System Scandal Update

The toteboard lights up after longshot Volponi wins the Classic. Thanks to him, the fraudulent Pick Six wager was exposed.

Dateline: 11/12/02

Lots has been going on in the two weeks since the Breeders' Cup Pick Six scam was exposed. Now there are three former fraternity brothers implicated and at least two test runs have been found. The three 29-year-old college buddies from Drexel University in Pennsylvania, Chris Harn, Derrick Davis, and Glen DaSilva, plan to give themselves up to authorities on Tuesday according to the lawyer for former tote employee Harn. They are expected to face felony fraud and conspiracy charges.

The suspect wagers were the much publicized $3.1 million score on the Breeders' Cup pick six made by Davis plus a pick four at Balmoral and another pick six at Belmont Park made by DaSilva which totalled to over $117,000. All the wagers were placed via phone accounts at Catskill OTB in New York. All were placed in the same format with single horses in the first 4 races and all in the last two for the pick sixes. They are suspected of using a weakness in the way wagers were transmitted to the tracks to change the selections in the singled races after they had been run to guarantee winning wagers. Although former Autotote employee Harn had the access to do this, it has yet to be proven this actually happened.

At least one good thing has come from all this mess, the antiquated tote systems are finally going to get updated so all wagers can be transmitted immediately and more stringent security measures are being implemented. NTRA has taken a leadership role in this by creating a Wagering Technology Task Force to identify issues and help find solutions. Hopefully we will come out of this all with a much improved and more secure tote system that we can trust again.

At least one of the suspects, DaSilva, plans to not plead guilty. His lawyer said: "They made bets. They won. These are very risky bets. They have very high payouts. Can the government show the bets they placed are different than the bets they won? I don't think so."

The others involved have not made any comments.

Background info and why the scam was possible here.

More info:

Photo ©2002 Cindy Pierson Dulay, licensed to About.

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