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August 01, 2021

California veterinarian going to the Olympics, then prison

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A federal judge in May sentenced Dr. Jack Ray Snyder, a former University of California-Davis veterinary faculty member, to six months in prison and six months home detention after Dr. Snyder pled guilty to one count of tax evasion last August.

U.S. Senior Judge William Shubb also fined Dr. Snyder $30,000 and ordered the veterinarian to pay $134,497 in restitution.

Still, Shubb is allowing Dr. Snyder to work at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, ordering him to report to prison on Aug. 17, just over a week after the games conclude.

An equine surgeon, Dr. Snyder (Washington State ’82) has treated horses at previous Olympics.

Efforts to contact Dr. Snyder, who has home addresses in California and Florida, were unsuccessful.

In 2018, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Dr. Snyder containing three counts of tax evasion and five counts of filing false tax returns. He was facing a maximum of 40 years in prison and $800,000 in fines.

According to court documents, Dr. Snyder underreported his income in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and deducted items that were not deductible between 2011 and 2014, resulting in an additional tax liability of approximately $134,497.

For the 2011 tax year, Dr. Snyder earned outside income as an equine practitioner in addition to his salary as a professor at UC-Davis. He endorsed outside client payment checks to directly pay credit card bills and also failed to report $212,953 in income for the 2011 tax year, prosecutors said.

Dr. Snyder was previously sued in 2014 by the University of California Board of Regents, alleging he earned more than $1 million in outside income as an employee at the UC-Davis Center for Equine Health. As a faculty member, Dr. Snyder had a contractual obligation to the university to pay extra income into a profit-sharing plan to fund grants and research at UC-Davis.

The Board of Regents claimed Dr. Snyder went to great lengths to hide the money he owed to the university. Dr. Snyder has denied those allegations. The lawsuit is still pending, with a trial date set for this September. According to a university spokesperson, Dr. Snyder resigned in January 2014 while the university was investigating the incidents that led to the lawsuit and shortly after the university initiated the disciplinary process.