- STEPHEN DRILL
- HERALD SUN
- FEBRUARY 05, 2014 5:24PM
A COCAINE kingpin who purchased horses from disgraced racing identity Bill Vlahos has been charged for making false statements to Racing Victoria stewards.
Joe Zaiter, who was friends with Vlahos, will face two charges for breaching the rules of racing.
Racing Victoria said in a statement this afternoon that Zaiter had failed to declare a criminal conviction.
“Under the Fitness and Propriety Section of the Horse Registration or Transfer of Ownership Forms, all individuals are required to notify the relevant Principal Racing Authority if they have been convicted of … any offence involving violence against a person or dishonest or criminal activity in the past 10 years,” the statement said.
The charges came out of Racing Victoria’s investigation into Vlahos’ failed racehorse company BC3 Thoroughbreds.
Zaiter was convicted in 2008 of his part in a $30 million cocaine importation.
He spent 15 months in jail.
Racing Victoria records reveal that Zaiter owned four horses that were syndicated through BC3 Thoroughbreds.
Melbourne and Caulfield Cup runner Sanagas was the best of the horses – but it only performed before it was purchased by Vlahos’ syndicate.
Zaiter also owned a share in Khalifa, a five year old gelding that has won $112,425, True Tussock, which has won $16,105 from seven starts and Present Glow, which has won $5,300 from five starts.
Zaiter told the Herald Sun that only Sanagas, which ran in Warrnambool on January 5, was still in his name.
He confirmed that he had been investigated by Racing Victoria officials and admitted that he did not declare his conviction.
Racing Victoria said in a statement that Zaiter had owned another two horses between 2010 and 2013.
Joe Zaiter has been fined $3500 for failing to declare a criminal conviction under the terms of racehorse ownership.
Zaiter, who did not appear at Thursday’s hearing before Racing Victoria’s Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board, pleaded guilty to two charges through his legal representative.
RV uncovered his deception as part of their investigation into the collapsed BC3 Thoroughbreds.
Zaiter was convicted of cocaine importation in 2006 and sentenced to 12 months jail.
He has until the end of July to pay the fine.
aap March 13, 2014, 12:12 pm