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Accused Pleads Guilty in Betting Fraud and Implicates 2 Others

20 November 2002

NEW YORK – As reported by the New York Times: ``Chris Harn, one of three men charged with manipulating computerized bets and nearly walking away with a $3 million payoff at last month's Breeders' Cup, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and computer fraud and one count of money laundering.

``Harn implicated two co-defendants, both college friends, as he admitted he had "placed a bet and later modified it so it would win."

``Harn also disclosed a separate betting scheme in which he and the two other men fraudulently collected up to $100,000 in the past year by creating counterfeit copies of winning tickets that had never been cashed by bettors.

``Harn's lawyer, Daniel Congi, said this morning, "By pleading guilty today Chris accepts full responsibility for his activities and he's asked me to offer his deepest apologies."

``The United States Attorney for the Southern District, James Comey, said, "Christopher Harn's guilty plea represents a significant step forward in restoring the confidence that honest people should be able to have in the integrity of the race-wagering system."

``…The federal sentencing guidelines for the Breeders' Cup case project a sentence of six years, but Harn's cooperation could lessen that sentence.

``…The complaint said the men, who are all 29 and knew one another from their days as members of a fraternity at Drexel University, had used telephone betting accounts and computer access to manipulate bets after they were made so that they were guaranteed to win…"

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