MIAMI — A man sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for poisoning a race horse and loan-sharking worked with the Colombo crime family, a federal prosecutor said.
Lawrence Lombardo, 50, who ran New York Thoroughbred Productions Inc., of Elmont, N.Y., had pleaded guilty in April to 21 counts of mail fraud, loan-sharking and conspiracy.
"It was factually inconceivable that Lombardo would be permitted by Colombo, or Cosa Nostra boss Victor Orena" to operate independently in the loan-sharking business in New York, said federal prosecutor Robert Lehner.
Among the charges against Lombardo was having a veterinarian kill Fins, a son of Seattle Slew, to collect $400,000 in insurance. The horse was bought for only $7,500, but Lombardo sold $10,000 shares in him to Florida investors participating in the deal to falsely build up the colt's worth, prosecutors said. Lombardo collected $152,500 from the insurance for himself.
Fins died of a lethal injection at a farm in Manorville, N.Y., on Sept. 9, 1990, according to prosecutors. In a taped telephone conversation, Lombardo bragged about killing the horse, saying it took five hours for Fins to die.
Lombardo also conspired to kill Cutlass Reality, who ran in the 1989 Breeders' Cup, but never went through with it, according to prosecutors.