Mangini Sentenced To 18 Months In Federal Prison For Role In Drug Misbranding Case

Former pharmacist Scott Mangini, who helped develop the products sold on RacehorseMeds and HorsePreRace, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on Sept. 10. U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken also ruled that Mangini would be on supervised release for three years after he completes his prison sentence.

Judge Oetken originally determined that Mangini would surrender himself to begin his sentence in October, but upon request from his attorney to let him spend the holidays with his family, moved his surrender date to January.

Mangini pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead. His prison sentence is the same as that of Scott Robinson, his co-conspirator who was sentenced in March 2021.

The indictments of Mangini and Robinson were made public at the same time as those against a number of prominent trainers, assistants, and veterinarians in the racing industry, all of whom prosecutors say were involved in the sale, distribution and use of illegal drugs to enhance the performance of racehorses.

Mangini’s attorneys had requested a sentence of six months’ home confinement, while prosecutors requested the maximum allowable sentence for the offense of 60 months in prison.

“I find the fact of imprisonment is more important than the length of the imprisonment,” said Oetken in rendering his decision. He cited his legal obligations to impose a sentence that would serve as an effective deterrent to others while not being harsher than necessary to do so.

Both men were ordered to forfeit over $8 million, which investigators say is the value of the illegal products that the two sold during the time in question. Attorneys revealed that in 20 months, sales records from RacehorseMeds indicated there were over 27,600 sales made by the company. The government is in possession of some sales records, but those have not been made publicly available.

Read more about new details of the case as revealed in sentencing documents filed in recent days in this story from Sept. 9.

There was considerable debate between attorneys before the sentencing about the characterization of Mangini’s behavior in the pre-sentencing reports which will remain on his record. Mangini’s counsel maintained that the majority of sales through his companies were for illegally compounded, “knock-off” versions of therapeutic prescription drugs and while not approved or appropriately prescribed, this made it unfair to call his behavior abusive towards animals. Prosecutors pointed to injectable products formulated by Mangini with names like Blast Off Red and Blast Off Extreme, which were advertised to behave as mimetics for epogen and other performance-enhancing drugs.

Mangini’s attorneys said that most of those products did not behave as performance-enhancers and were instead dietary supplements because they did not have the same effects as the products they claimed to mimic. Oetken questioned whether this amounted to fraud on the part of the people marketing the drugs, which seemed problematic also. Ultimately though, he made clear that the nature of the drugs themselves was less important to him than the fact they were misbranded.

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“The performance-enhancing aspect of the case is not really, I think, relevant to sentencing. It may be relevant to press releases and reputations and things like that. You made a good point that it may not be most of what’s been sold on these website, but the fact is there were still problems. It was a shoddily-run pharmacy,” said Oetken, describing the problems Mangini’s facility had with safety and sterility, as well as his efforts to conceal his association with the websites. “All of that is related to the effort to evade regulation from state and federal authorities and that’s what I’m focused on for sentencing.”

An emotional Mangini spoke during the proceedings, begging Oetken not to send him away from his wife and stepson.

“I thought I could help all kinds of horses and owners and trainers,” said Mangini. “I didn’t know it was illegal.

“Now that I look back, I destroyed my life and I have no one to blame but myself. I am living with the consequences of my actions. I’ve ended my career as a pharmacist and I can’t work with horses again…Since my arrest, I’ve tried to be better. I admitted that I violated the FDA rules. I met with the government every time they wanted and truly told them the truth. I admitted I broke the law. I am filled with regret and remorse. I am sorry.”

The post Mangini Sentenced To 18 Months In Federal Prison For Role In Drug Misbranding Case appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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