Wyoming's attorney general's office is investigating possible criminal and civil wrongdoing at Wyoming Downs as a means of obtaining a judgement against the track for $50,000.
Assistant Attorney General Terry Armitage declined to be more specific about the criminal action. But he said the horse track, where racing was suspended earlier this month, failed to pay the state the required 1.5 percent of all bets in its last two weeks of operation.The week before that, the state received a late payment only after a representative of the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission traveled to Evanston to get the check, Armitage added.
Money owed for the track's last two weeks of operation, along with other funds owed the state from breeder's awards and an employee wage reimbursement, amount to about $50,000, according to the attorney.
The track's operating license has been suspended while the investigation into the payments continues. Wyoming Downs had been scheduled to run through Oct. 9.
Armitage was in Evanston last Wednesday to meet with bank officials who have frozen one of Wyoming Downs' bank accounts.
That account, according to Armitage, grew through payments horse owners made to make "the pot sweeter for a last race." Wyoming Downs also was to have contributed to the account.
Horsemen now are charging that the frozen account is their money, but the bank is claiming it as funds to pay off other debts the track owes.
Armitage said his office is trying to determine the origin of the funds in the account, "which we contend are the horsemen's and rightfully should go to them because they paid into it."
The official has said the track also owes money to winning ticket holders and that the state likely will go over the track's books.