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Former horse racing official headed to prison

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HARRISBURG, Pa. –  A former racing official at Penn National Race track in Grantville, was sentenced to 4 months in prison today by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Craig Lytel, 61, of Hershey, was an employee of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Track (Penn National) who served as a racing official at the track.

Exploring Drug Use Within Horse RacingLytel plead guilty in September 2015 to wire fraud for accepting money and other gratuities in exchange for providing inside information to trainers on which races to enter their horses in order to have a better chance at winning. On one occasion Lytel was the recipient of an interstate wire transfer of $1,000 from a bank in Kentucky to Lytel’s bank in Pennsylvania in exchange for providing inside information on the makeup of horse races at Penn National.

Lytel admitted to accepting cash, dinners, gift cards and golf outings in exchange for the information thereby depriving his employer of his honest service and defrauding other horsemen and the betting public. The identities of the trainers who paid Lytel for the information was not disclosed by the government as the investigation is ongoing.
Lytel was sentenced to serve 4 months in a federal prison and was ordered to surrender at the institution selected by the Bureau of Prisons by 10:00 a.m. on March 23.
The case was investigated by the Harrisburg Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission as part of an ongoing investigation of racing at Penn National.
Prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe.