A lawyer for a Prince George's County bank has charged the present manages of Laurel Raceway with diverting about $3 million from the harness track for their own purposes.
C. Edward Hartman II, attorney for the Citizens Bank and Trust Co. of Riverdale, which is suing the race track, urged Judge James Macgill to appoint a receiver to protect the track's remaining assets.
Hartman claimed the track's owners are planning to sell the track. He said terrible management is dissipating the track's asset to the point that the facility is in critical condition and may have to be sold.
Greta R. Shamy the harness track's president, denied that any funds had been diverted. She said she and her family are owed $500,000 from loans that they have made to improve the facility in the absence of permanent bank financing.
She said there are no plans to sell the facility, adding that last year's $3.69 million renovation has made it worth at least $6 million.
A draft of a long overdue state audit of the track was released at the hearing. It showed that the track owed Shamy and others $521,000, which she said was used in part to pay off debts from the improvements.
But the audit noted that the track had contracted with three related firms for the project and said, "We were not provided with sufficient evidential matter to satisfy ourselves as to the reasonableness of the total contract price."
THis referred to the Howard Construction Co. and two subcontractors which Joseph E. Shamy, the track administrator, set up to handle the construction.