More background info on the Signature Pharmacy case from NY investigator’s "Changing Gear" steroid book.

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On the 22nd page of his book manuscript, New York investigator Mark Haskins recalled a conversation he had with an assistant district attorney about an ongoing steroids probe:

“I can’t promise you what will happen, but I promise you, I’ll make you famous.”

Now the operators of an Orlando pharmacy that was one of Haskins’ targets say his manuscript bolsters their claim that he was out for fame and personal gain as he built a case against them.

In that manuscript, “CHANGING GEAR: The Internet, Steroids and How Three People Took on a 250 Million Dollar Steroid Ring and Won,” Haskins details media leaks, legal maneuvering and his own deceptions — lying to a Pittsburgh Steelers team doctor and appearing to pose as a federal agent.

The manuscript was made public recently when Signature’s attorneys included it as part of a federal civil case against the New York officials.

Last month, New York prosecutors again aimed at Signature’s operators, whom they accuse of providing performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes. A new set of indictments against company officers marks the return of a case brought by Albany County District Attorney David Soares in 2007, one that turned a national spotlight on baseball players and other athletes linked to the steroid probe.

Soares’ first case was tossed by a New York judge but not before the pharmacy was painted as a hub of a steroid network.

Five company officers responded to allegations by filing suit against Soares, Haskins and others associated with the criminal case, claiming the team ruined the pharmacy’s reputation and cost it business.

The trial was set for mid-July but was postponed because of a second set of indictments against Naomi Loomis and her husband, Robert “Stan” Loomis, both of Windermere; his brother and former Signature pharmacy operator Kenneth Michael Loomis of Winter Garden; former business manager Kirk Calvert of Windermere; and former business manager Tony Palladino of Ocoee.

“We view these recent indictments as the same intimidation tactics [as] three years ago,” said Signature attorney Amy Tingley. “We believe [these] will be dismissed as were those brought previously.”

Said Mae D’Agostino, who represents Soares and New York Assistant District Attorney Christopher Baynes in the civil case: “I don’t find anything irregular or inappropriate about it.”

Meanwhile, Haskins’ manuscript stands as a crucial piece of evidence in the civil case, Signature’s attorneys said.

In it, he wrote about leaks and how officials used the media, including a Sports Illustrated writer.

“Everyone would have to get a taste and they would all have to be massaged,” he wrote about news outlets. “Countless hours were spent determining who would be the best source for a particular name.”

In addition, he wrote, it “became obvious to most that much of the information was coming from our camp. This was an accusation we would always deny.”

Although he notes that he was new to the “spin game” early on, “by the end of the case I could spin [expletive] into gold and I enjoyed it.”

In court filings, Signature argues the writing shows that Haskins wasn’t performing “legitimate job-related functions” as a senior investigator for New York’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and that Haskins intended to leak information to the media to destroy the pharmacy during the criminal probe.

According to court documents filed in May, Haskins would admit to writing about 100 pages in the 142-page manuscript, although it’s unclear how it landed in the company’s hands. It was discovered “by pure chance through a non-party,” according to court records.

Attempts to reach Haskins were unsuccessful. He is no longer an investigator with New York’s health department.

Haskins’ attorney, David A. Jones, declined to comment on his client’s current job or residence.

Jones said Haskins admits to writing portions of the manuscript. In court filings, Jones said Haskins’ statements to the media do not violate pharmacy officers’ rights.

Haskins’ interviews and statements were given within the scope of his authority, and he wasn’t directly quoted by any reporter as using the name “Signature,” records filed by Jones state; Signature also can’t prove Haskins caused the company or its officers any harm.

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