Disqualified trainer Ben Currie to face fraud charges
UPDATE: Disgraced horse trainer Ben Currie has been charged with aggravated fraud amid allegations he sourced performance enhancing substances for his horses and dishonestly claimed the winnings.
Police arrested and charged 28-year-old Currie today following a 14-month-long investigation by the Queensland Racing Crime Squad.
Police will allege he "engaged in systematic fraudulent behaviour" between November, 2016 and March 2019.
It is alleged Currie got hold of unregulated horse supplements "designed to enhance race performance in a manner to circumvent current testing methodology in Queensland thoroughbred racing".
"As a result, it is further alleged the offender has dishonestly gained a benefit through entitlement to prize money distributed by Racing Queensland for thoroughbred races in Queensland over that time," a statement from police said.
Currie has been bailed to appear in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on July 15.
Earlier: Disgraced Queensland horse trainer Ben Currie has been arrested in a police probe bombshell for the racing industry.
Police today arrested Currie in Toowoomba.
Currie has been the leading trainer in Queensland for the last three years, with the highest number of wins.
He has been disqualified and hasn't trained a runner since May 2 as officials have refused his horse nominations.
Earlier this month the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission increased Currie's disqualification period to seven and a half years when it handed down its penalty for five prohibited substance charges.
After finding Currie guilty of five swab irregularities between 2017 and 2019, which included two for cocaine, stewards disqualified Currie for three years and fined him $45,000. All five horses were disqualified from their respective races.
● Wicked Trilogy was found with meloxicam in its system on December 2, 2017, when it raced at Kilcoy;
● Shakira was found to have testosterone in excess of the accepted concentration in its system when it raced on January 28, 2018, at Toowoomba;
● Karaharaga was found to have 17-methylmorphinan-3-ol in its system when it raced on July 6, 2018, at Rockhampton;
● Dreamscope was found to have cocaine and benzolecgonine in its system when it raced at Toowoomba on September 16, 2018;
● Eight Over was found to have cocaine, methylecgonine and benzolecgonine in its system when it raced on February 2, 2019, at Toowoomba.
Currie's father Mark is allowed train after a deal was made to quash a two-year disqualification for race-day treatments. He was given a wholly suspended 12-month suspension and $7500 fine.