Calder is double crossed!
Calder Race Course supervisor, 2 contractors charged in alleged kickback scheme.
How could this happen? From the company who gave us Steve Sexton, who almost killed racing in south Floriduh, John Marshall, who’s threats to trainers who raced their horses at Gulfstream Park during the winter dates dispute, an armored security guard who was killed on the property, and then we find out the alleged killers worked at Calder, now we have this jaw dropping story. Here is the Miami Herald link.
According to federal charges, three men and unnamed co-conspirators made millions by collaborating on a “kickback scheme” involving false billing for maintenance services at the Calder race track and grounds.
A former track supervisor of Calder Race Course and two former contractors were charged Thursday with stealing about $4.5 million from the Miami Gardens horse-racing track in an alleged kickback scheme that spanned a decade.
The three defendants charged with fraud in federal court were track superintendant Steven Cross, also known as Ira Sapirman; Israel Campos, owner of chemical and janitorial supply businesses; and Mark Cantrell, owner of janitorial supply businesses.
If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in prison. Cross and Cantrell were also charged with tax evasion.
Cross, 53, of Hollywood, Campos, 64, of Miami, and Cantrell, 45, of Boca Raton, are scheduled for their first appearances in Fort Lauderdale federal court on Friday or next week.
A Calder spokeswoman declined to comment because of the ongoing criminal case.
According to charges, the three men and unnamed co-conspirators enriched themselves “by illegally obtaining money from Calder through a kickback scheme” for purported maintenance services on the 220-acre race track and grounds.
The scheme allegedly involved the contractors’ submission of “fraudulent invoices and delivery tickets reflecting chemicals that had been delivered” to the race track that were generally not supplied at all. The chemicals were herbicides and fungicides.
From 1998 to 2008, Campos’ businesses, Delta Supply and Maintenance Distributors, received payments from Calder totaling $2 million, which he “split” with Cross, according to prosecutor Jeffrey Kaplan. Campos allegedly gave the cash kickbacks to Cross at Calder.
During that same period, Cantrell’s businesses, Marquee Enterprises and A-JEM Industries, received $1.5 million, which he also “split” with Cross, according to the prosecutor. Cantrell allegedly gave the cash payoffs to Cross at Calder or in Broward County.
Cantrell also made payments on Cross’ leased Chevrolet Corvette, according to the charges.
In addition, Cross told three other unnamed plumbing, welding and painting contractors that the track superintendant “needed to get paid from the proceeds of the work they performed,” the charges said.
Between 2005 and March 2008, the three contractors paid about $1 million in “kickbacks” to Cross through a company he set up called All Source, the charges said.
Also, for more a year, the unidentified plumbing contractor paid Cross’ credit card bills totaling $120,000.
The investigation, led by the Internal Revenue Service, also led to tax-evasion charges against Cross and Cantrell alleging hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes for some of the years of the alleged kickback scheme.
Calder, which includes thoroughbred racing and slot machines and poker games, is owned by Churchill Downs in Kentucky.