Wealthy Horse Owner Sentenced to 33 Months in Horse’s Death
CHICAGO (AP) _ A wealthy horse owner was sentenced Thursday to 33 months in prison for insurance fraud in the electrocution of one of his show horses.
George Lindemann Jr., 31, also was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine and $250,000 restitution to the insurance company. His horse trainer, Marion Hulick, received a 21-month sentence.
In September, Lindemann and Hulick were convicted of lying to the insurance company about the 1990 death of the horse Charisma.
Prosecutors contend Lindemann ordered the electrocution of the horse on the family’s farm near Greenwich, Conn., after the animal performed poorly on a show horse circuit.
Tommy Burns, who was hired by Hulick to kill the horse, was the government’s chief witness at trial and is awaiting sentencing.
Lindemann’s defense was that he was so wealthy he didn’t need the insurance company’s $250,000 payoff.
Lindemann’s father founded the Cellular One phone company and is worth an estimated $590 million. The younger Lindemann is an accomplished horseman who earned a berth on the 1985 U.S. Equestrian Team.
Lindemann and Hulick were among 24 people charged so far in a wide-ranging insurance fraud scandal involving the show horse circuit.
U.S. Circuit Judge George Marovich said he was more lenient to Hulick, 61, because she cares for her two disabled children.
The government’s investigation began as a probe into the disappearance of candy heiress Helen Vorhees Brach.
While investigating Brach’s boyfriend, horse trader Richard Bailey, they received a tip that Burns was about to kill a show horse for insurance money.
Bailey was convicted of fraud and racketeering charges and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He also was charged with conspiracy to kill Brach, but was not tried on that count.
Lindemann and Hulick remained free on bond. Lindemann, who is appealing, is to begin his sentence in 30 days. Hulick will begin her prison term in 90 days.
Lindemann’s attorney, Jay Goldberg, did not return several phone messages.