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Wrightwood woman who drugged, painted horses as part of sales scam sentenced

A San Bernardino County woman was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $273,000 in restitution for defrauding people who sought to buy horses from her.

Trina Lee Kenney, 32, of Wrightwood, painted horses to make them a different color and drugged the animals to make them appear more docile, prosecutors said.

Sometimes she did not provide a horse to buyers at all, and those under her care were frequently not watered or fed, a former employee told investigators.

Kenney “broke their hearts and stole their money,” said U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz, referring to the buyers, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Matz sentenced Kenney on Wednesday, ordering her to pay the restitution to 88 victims.

Kenney had pleaded guilty in October to mail fraud, “admitting that she defrauded prospective horse purchasers in 23 states and Canada,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Kenney advertised on various Internet sites under several names -- in part to evade a trail of customer complaints, prosecutors said. Her businesses included Prestige Distribution, Horses and Ponies and Star Horses.

Kenney lied about the health and temperament of her horses, as well as their physical characteristics and pedigrees. She sometimes delivered a different horse than promised or none at all. She also claimed a money-back guarantee that she did not honor.

Working under cover, an FBI agent and a postal inspector paid for a Friesian mare named Azure, whose existence Kenney had apparently fabricated. The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation.


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Comments () | Archives (17)

How many people did she scam before the FBI and USPS got involved?
Or did she cross someone politically connected?

Let's see, she has to repay $273,000.00 to 88 customers that she defrauded. That's approximately $3,1102.27 per horse. See, you really should look a gift horse in the mouth!

People like this should be made an example of--the penalty here is not harsh enough to deter her or people like her. If you want to put a stop to something, you can--take the perpetrators and put them away until they have become senior citizens.

the "victims" are not only the people she scammed out of money, but the horses that were in her care that were so terribly treated :(

I hope the charges she is facing also include cruelty to animal charges!

tough times...gotta give her credit for creativity!

how do you sell horses through the mail?

I wish more people would take this type of seller to court!! Too many buyers just accept it as a loss just because it is a horse. Get everything in writing when you buy and make the seller responsible!!! Don't let them get away with it!!! People get hurt as well as lose money when they buy from these rotten people!

Now I can finally get that unicorn and the pink pony I have always wanted. :D

I myself along with hundreds of others have and continue to be scammed by a company under the name of "puppyelite" She did not give me the teacup Pomeranian I paid $3300. cash for. NOt the same dog at all. She has a case pending with the Pennsylvania Attorney General for forgery and selling sick and dead dogs. They are obviously dragging their feet.
No one will help me.
Palm Desert,ca

They should only feed her once every three days so she can feel how the horses suffered for not being fed. Lock her up and throw away the key...

41 Months and $275,000 restituation. Yet the Banksters and their aiders and abettors walk among us, (seldom walk what with their fleets of planes, limos, yachts) after committing a crime with a magnitude off the scale. At the bottom of society you can be killed by the police for s...tealing a can of beans, go to prison for 25 years for stealing those beans three times, but loot the nation, take us into treasonous wars, bribe our representatives, it's Park Ave., The Hamptons, Armani and a solid gold Rolex.

Right down the line all of Amerika's ills and failures can be traced to the greed of a minuscule number of people raking in huge amounts while the rest of us pay the piper. They own all the politicians, save a handful that are marginalized, own all media, own all banking and finance, insurance and pharmaceutical and healthcare industries and they will never ever give up that power, let alone allow people to see what they done, by cloaking it in patriotism, free enterprise while keeping the population divided and confused with a barrage of noise on celebrity, birther questions, gay rights, muslims, race relations and other small issue questions. Meanwhile they've tightened their iron grip on every aspect of Amerikan life and turn it into profit for them and misery for us. The fact that while Barker's held to this standard of law and the wealthy and powerful are not, is to me, and should be to you, repugnant.

Or as Montagu Norman, Governor of The Bank Of England, addressing the United States Bankers' Association, New York, 1924 said...
"Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers. These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world.


To Marseile Langres

Next time just rescue a dog. Why would anyone want to buy a dog, especially site unseen. It's a dog, not a computer retard!

She is indeed in the wrong and should pay the price, but come on people, how smart are you to send people you don't know, money, for animals, or anything for that matter, that you haven't seen?? Use you heads! Put your money in a savings account, and you'll be a lot better off.


First, you get a BIG envelope.....

Boy it takes all kinds! They mention nothing about what happened 2 the horses after the fact. She should at least get 10 years if not longer.

Anyone who knows anything about horses -- and that should include someone who tries to buy a horse -- knows that you must have a licensed veterinarian (DVM, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) perform an in-person thorough physical exam of the equine, and make a written report of all these plus much more:

(1) Apparent pedigree (breed such as Arabian, Quarterhorse, Appaloosa, etc.),
(2) "Soundness" (general health), all the particulars of
(3) Gait (how it walks and runs), and its hoof health or deformities,
(4) Joints and skeletal system (bone strength and lack of deformities),
(5) Teeth (which indicate age very accurately, as teeth configuration changes over the 30-odd years of a horse's life expectancy -- ever here the phrase "Long in the Tooth" ? That's from horses!)
(6) Oh, and you've got to ride it first!!! Hello?

So that pretty much precludes "internet sales," doesn't it?

Hector--You just use Pony Express.

Seriously, though, buying animals through the mail? Why would anyone pay 3K for a dog sight unseen (especially with shelters full of wonderful dogs waiting for adoption)? That means you're buying a breed, not a pet/companion/individual. And probably bred under poor conditions at a puppy mill. People who continue to buy from puppy mills are guilty of perpetuating that horrible industry.


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