SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – United St…

SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that a federal grand jury in San Francisco today indicted Trevor Graham, a track & field coach of Olympic athletes. The indictment charges Graham with three counts of making false statements to special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) in connection with an investigation into the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs and related money laundering. During the criminal investigation, Graham was a witness in determining the ultimate source for illegal performance-enhancing drugs taken by many athletes who were connected with Balco. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by IRS-CI.

According to the indictment, on June 8, 2004, two IRS-CI special agents interviewed Graham in person at his attorney’s office in Raleigh, North Carolina. Graham was interviewed about his relationship with Source A. According to the indictment, Source A provided Graham, and the athletes he was coaching – some of whom were associated with Balco – with illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Graham allegedly referred numerous athletes that he coached to Source A in order to obtain illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Graham was also interviewed regarding his involvement with Balco and his knowledge of athletes associated with Balco and their use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The indictment alleges in the first count that Mr. Graham lied to IRS-CI special agents by stating during the interview that he never set up any of his athletes with drugs obtained from Source A. The indictment alleges that, in fact, Graham obtained illegal performance-enhancing drugs from Source A and thereafter provided them to athletes he was coaching and also referred athletes he was coaching to Source A to obtain illegal performance-enhancing drugs directly from Source A.

U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated, “The charges allege that Graham intentionally lied to IRS-CI agents who were pursuing the original source of the illegal performance-enhancing drugs taken by many of the athletes tied to Balco. Today’s charges demonstrate this office’s ongoing commitment to investigate and prosecute not only those involved in the illegal doping of our nation’s athletes, but also those who lie to federal agents involved in a criminal investigation. As made clear today, intentionally making false statements to federal agents in the course of a criminal investigation is a serious federal felony.”

The second count alleges that Mr. Graham lied that he had never met Source A in person, when in fact, he had met Source A in person prior to the interview. The third count alleges that Graham lied to federal special agents when stating that he last contacted Source A via a phone call in approximately 1997, when in fact, as he knew, he had numerous contacts with Source A between 1997 and the interview.

IRS-CI Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Diane Carter stated, “We can’t turn a blind eye to the use of performance enhancing drugs and the money laundering associated with it. When you lie or mislead investigators regarding the use or distribution of illegal steroids, those actions will be aggressively pursued by the IRS as well other law enforcement organizations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

“The problem of doping in sport extends beyond just athletes. USADA strongly believes that the coaches, doctors and support personnel who abuse their positions must also be held accountable,” said U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Chief Executive Officer Terry Madden. “Our close working relationship with Kevin V. Ryan, the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco and with other law enforcement entities across the country, is ongoing as we continue our effort to expel from sport those individuals who violate the rules. Today’s indictment is an example of the progress that has been made in the fight against doping as a result of the continuing cooperation between USADA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

Prior to the interview, Graham’s attorney requested and received a letter immunity agreement between Graham and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California covering Graham’s interview. The agreement granted Mr. Graham immunity from the statements made during the interview, but it specifically did not provide immunity from prosecution for making false statements during the interview.

On September 3, 2003, a federal search warrant, issued out of the Northern District of California, was executed at the Balco premises in Burlingame, California. Among other things, investigators obtained evidence concerning Graham and his relationship with Balco and certain professional athletes.

Mr. Graham was issued a summons to appear for arraignment on November 16, 2006, at 9:30 a.m. before Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of making false statements to a government agency, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (a)(2), is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Graham must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Jeff Finigan, Jeff Nedrow, and Matt Parrella are the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of legal technician Rawaty Yim.

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