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Joseph Raich, 44, avoided jail by pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge, agreeing to pay $200,000 restitution and continue cooperating with the Albany, N.Y., district attorney prosecuting the case in exchange for five years probation.He faced 28 counts of illegally selling human growth hormones and steroids for his role as co-owner of Palm Beach Rejuvenation, a wellness clinic. Raich and Palm Beach Rejuvenation are central in the ongoing investigations, prosecutors said. Raich is the eighth person in the case, with five coming from the South Florida clinics, to plead guilty.Even before his arrest two weeks ago, Raich cooperated with prosecutors. Raich and his family have long been wrestling boosters in Palm Beach County and of Olympic wrestling.Two of Raich's sons wrestled for Jupiter Christian School.He was a booster for the school's wrestling program and is a charter owner of the Wrestling Club of the Palm Beaches.His connection to Jupiter Christian prompted a state investigation into the school that found no evidence of illegal substance use by its athletes.
This opportunity has been made a reality through the efforts of Doherty and Joe Raich, former Wellington Wrestling Club parent and current director of the Wrestling Club of the Palm Beaches.
The booster, Joseph L. Raich, is the vice president of Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center, a business here offering hormone and antiaging treatments.
The center was described as a nexus of illegal drug activity in charges filed Monday against the company's president and medical director. Mr. Raich was not charged, but the authorities seized steroid and human growth hormone supplies from his desk last week, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement document. And he continues to be under investigation over possible involvement with bogus prescriptions or illegal distribution, the law enforcement official said Tuesday. He added that Mr. Raich had been talking with investigators. Mr. Raich, 44, is well known here for having sponsored the 2004 United States Olympic freestyle wrestling team, allowing members to stay at his home and to use local training facilities during a week that June, two months before the Athens Olympics. The 9,000-square-foot home has a pool and personal chef. Mr. Raich is also active in youth wrestling. Last year, Jupiter Christian School became the smallest school in Florida history to win a state team championship in the sport. Three members of the team, including two individual state champions, came from the Raich family. The Raiches also sponsor an annual wrestling tournament at the school. Mr. Raich and Jupiter Christian school officials declined to comment Tuesday. No one has accused any of the wrestlers for the school or the Olympic squad of using performance-enhancing drugs. Kevin Jackson, the national freestyle wrestling coach, said in a telephone interview that the team's trip to Florida, including its placement in Mr. Raich's home, was arranged by the Palm Beach County Community Olympic Development Program. Darryl Seibel, a spokesman for the U.S.O.C., said, "Without prejudging anyone's guilt or innocence, we had no knowledge at all about any business activities Mr. Raich may have been involved in." In a telephone interview, Gary Abbott, the director of communications for USA Wrestling, which is partly financed and affiliated with the U.S.O.C., said of Mr. Raich, "To be honest with you, I think we only know him as a wrestling leader in Florida, and we are not aware of his business dealings." The room was named after Joseph Raich's brother John, a 1983 Florida state wrestling champion who, according to USA Wrestling's Web site, was killed in a boating accident after his senior year of high school. Joseph Raich is also a real estate developer and an investor in addition to working at the center. He had offices there until it closed after a raid by law enforcement authorities Feb. 27. (A satellite clinic in Palm Beach Gardens remained open.) The investigation, led in part by the Albany County district attorney because of tough drug laws in New York, is focusing on distributors of the drugs and the doctors who falsify prescriptions, not on users. So far, 13 people have been charged. Authorities, acting under a sealed search warrant, seized steroids, growth hormone, syringes and business records, including Mr. Raich's tax records, during the search of the rejuvenation center offices, according to a receipt of the items seized in the search that was filed with the court. From Mr. Raich's desk specifically, they reported seizing 13 Genotropin MiniQuicks, a growth hormone in a cartridge designed for easy attachment to needles to inject; one Norditropin growth hormone product made by Norvo Nordisk that advertises the ability to remain potent without being refrigerated; and one full bottle of Ultratest 250, a combination of anabolic steroids. Mr. Raich's office had also been used as headquarters of the Wrestling Club of the Palm Beaches Inc., a nonprofit group that promotes youth wrestling. Mr. Raich was a co-founder of the club with high school coaches and others in March 2003. It is listed on the Florida Amateur Wrestling Association's Web site as a chartered club of USA Wrestling. The wrestling association describes itself as the official organization representing USA Wrestling in Florida. Robert Kamperman, an association board member, said that Mr. Raich had not been involved with the group for more than two years. "There were differences in opinions between Raich and the board over the direction of the association," he said. "Raich and a group of others put forward a proposal to assume total responsibility for all our Florida national teams. But the offer was turned down by the board." Mr. Raich listed his e-mail address as firstname.lastname@example.org in a listing for the Wrestling Club of the Palm Beaches on a Web directory kept by the Florida Amateur Wrestling Association. He identified himself as the head coach of the wrestling club. Also part of the same complex of offices is a company called RXHGH Inc., which was founded in April 2003 by Mr. Raich along with Glen Stefanos, who is also the president of the rejuvenation center. (His name was spelled Stefanos in criminal filings but Stephanos in business filings.) It is unclear what her relationship is to Joseph Raich. Inside, authorities questioned executives, including Joseph Raich, listed on a government document as a company director. Raich, 44, is well-known in the South Florida youth wrestling community. He has provided financial assistance to aspiring Olympians, and before the Athens Games in the summer of 2004, he sponsored a training camp in South Florida for the U.S. Olympic wrestling team. The Florida Amateur Wrestling Association website even lists Raich (who did not return repeated messages seeking comment) as the contact for the Wrestling Club of the Palm Beaches. The listing also provides his e-mail address: Joehghtest.com.
Joseph Raich, the owner of Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center in Jupiter, which was recently raided by state law enforcement officials for alleged steroid distribution, is being investigated in the national probe that started in Albany, N.Y., and has spread to Orlando and Jupiter. Advertisement Raich is a booster for the athletic program for the private school, offering K-12 curriculum. "I'd like to comment on this," said Raich on Thursday, "but with everything going on I just can't comment at this time." "But he (Raich) wasn't a coach." Joseph Raich is the vice president of Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center, where three officials were arrested recently in the federal investigation concerning alleged growth hormone distribution. Raich, 44, sponsored the 2004 United States Olympic freestyle wrestling team.
But Palm Beach Rejuvenation co-founder Joseph Raich pleaded guilty on July 30, after initially pleading not guilty, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.