CORRECTION–COURT TO HEAR Complaint Involving Funds HELD BY Cesar Parra in Alleged “Sham” Horse Sale

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Cesar Parra (left) with USA gold medal team at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

A New Jersey Court on Friday said it will hold a hearing into whether Cesar Parra, who rode at the Olympics for Colombia and for the United States at the 2011 Pan American Games, an employee and his business will have to deposit €180,000 (USA$234,000) with the court and answer in court charges of “deceptive valuation of the sale price” of a horse named Florence

The court issued a preliminary ruling on a complaint filed on behalf of Carolyne Morgan of Savannah, Georgia that Cesar Parra, 49, Katie Riley, an employee, and Piaffe Performance, Inc., Cesar Parra’s business entity, operating out of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and Jupiter, Florida.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Peter A. Buschbaum sitting in Flemington, New Jersey, said a hearing will be held “as soon as possible” on the complaint by Carolyne Morgan that the defendants ignored the judge’s order of May 1 to pay €180,000 into an attorney’s account in New Jersey..

Carolyne Morgan alleged the defendants sold Florence to one buyer for €180,000 without informing her, then created a “sham sale” to a second buyer for €100,000, about which she was informed.

She initially won a court order for the defendants to place the full amount of €180,000 into an escrow account with Cesar Parra’s New Jersey attorney while the case was dealt with, but  €100,000 was allegedly deposited into an account in another state.

Judge Buschbaum on Friday ruled the hearing will be into whether the court would order:

–Reinstatement of an amended complaint by Carolyne Morgan to the court’s active trial list and dismiss a request by Cesar Parra for arbitration;

–Defendants to deposit €180,000 with the clerk of the Superior Court of Hunterdon County to be held until the court determines how to disperse it;

–Carolyne Morgan to be paid all attorney’s fees associated with enforecement of the May 1 order and all costs and expenses “associated with the investigation of defendant’s deceptive valuation of the sale price of Florence the horse,” and

–Cesar Parra and the other defendants should be subject to a “continuing coercive levy” of one per cent (€1,800) per day for each day the €180,000 is not deposited with the court.

This is the second case against Cesar Parra in Hunterdon County, about an hour west of New York City, this year.

Animal cruelty charges against him were dismissed following an investigation by Anthony P.Kearns, the county prosecutor.

Four summonses were issued by the Hunterdon County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals against Cesar Parra, accusing the trainer of “torture or torment to a living animal” after a complaint was made over an incident almost three years earlier. One summons was related to a fourth degree crime, one was for a disorderly persons offense and two were civil complaints.

The disorderly persons charge was dismissed on the grounds that the one-year statute of limitations had expired and there was insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges on the fourth degree criminal complaint.

The two civil comlaints were referred back to the Readington Township Municipal Court, where they were originally filed.

(An earler version misreported the judge’s order and should have stated that a hearing will be held on the complaint and not that a ruling had been made. Dressage-news.com regrets the error.)