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Pelling a possible witness against Brooks

February 02, 2010

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Steve Kallas, a New York attorney, longtime Standardbred owner, and correspondent for The Horseman and Fair World magazine, filed the following as he continues to report on the trial of David Brooks:
In a blockbuster document obtained by The Horseman and Fair World, the prosecutors in the case of United States v. Brooks have indicated to U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert that horseman Brett Pelling is a potential government witness against David Brooks. Pelling, a native of New Zealand, left the U.S. for Australia following the end of the 2005 racing season.
Pelling, who has been rumored to soon be returning to the United States to train horses, is discussed in a letter from the government to the judge, with copies to all defense attorneys. In the letter, the government discloses that potential witness Pelling “received a 20-day suspension as a result of one of the horses he trained testing positive for four nanograms of a morphine derivative.” The government goes on to state that Pelling “recalls approximately three or four other positives in his career.”
In the letter, the government also discusses a 2000 “deal” between Brooks and Pelling, where Brooks gave Pelling a “certificate for shares” of DHB, the company that defendant Brooks is accused of looting, “to compensate Pelling for acting as the intermediary in the sale of the horse ‘Grin From Ear To Ear (sic Grinfromeartoear).’” While Brooks told Pelling, according to the government, that he could “exercise” the certificate (i.e., buy shares of DHB for a reduced price of only 50 cents a share) in or about January 2001, when Pelling tried to do just that, “he learned that Brooks had used his clout as CEO to invalidate the certificate,” according to the government.
The trial, now in its second week, continues in federal court in Central Islip, Long Island.  More harness racing-related witnesses are expected to testify this week.        
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