Ex-MLB star Yasiel Puig agrees to plead responsible for mendacity to feds about involvement in unlawful playing op


Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig agreed to plea responsible to a federal cost of mendacity to federal legislation enforcement officers about sports activities bets he performed with an unlawful playing operation, the Justice Division mentioned Monday, citing not too long ago unsealed court docket paperwork.

Puig, 31, agreed to plead responsible to 1 depend of constructing false statements, which carries a most of 5 years in federal jail. He additionally agreed to pay a $55,000 superb and can seem in court docket Tuesday.

The Justice Division mentioned Puig began putting sports activities bets via a 3rd social gathering in Could 2019. The third social gathering was recognized in court docket paperwork “Agent 1.” The mysterious “Agent 1” labored on behalf of Wayne Joseph Nix, of Newport Coast, California, who ran the unlawful playing operation officers mentioned.

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Outfielder Yasiel Puig #66 of the Kiwoom Heroes reacts in the top of the eighth inning during the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) League opening game between Kiwoom Heroes and Lotte Giants at Gocheok Skydome on April 2, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.

Outfielder Yasiel Puig #66 of the Kiwoom Heroes reacts within the prime of the eighth inning through the Korean Baseball Group (KBO) League opening recreation between Kiwoom Heroes and Lotte Giants at Gocheok Skydome on April 2, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.
(Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Photographs)

Puig would name and ship texts to “Agent 1” with wagers on video games and the go-between would then submit the bets to Nix’s enterprise. Puig owed the enterprise $282,900 for losses, officers mentioned. “Agent 1” and one other individual recognized as “Particular person B” directed Puig to put in writing a verify or make a wire switch payable to a Nix playing consumer, recognized as “Particular person A.” The enterprise owed “Particular person A” at the least $200,000 in playing winnings, officers mentioned.

“On June 25, 2019, Puig withdrew $200,000 from a Financial institution of America department in Glendale then bought two cashiers’ checks for $100,000 every that have been made payable to Particular person A,” the Justice Division mentioned within the information launch. “Puig didn’t instantly ship the checks as a result of a dispute over the stability and entry to Nix-controlled web sites used to put sports activities bets. Nix refused to permit Puig entry to the betting web sites till Puig’s playing debt was paid.

“After Puig paid the $200,000, Nix supplied Puig direct entry to the betting web sites. From July 4, 2019 to September 29, 2019, Puig positioned 899 extra bets on tennis, soccer and basketball video games via the web sites.”

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Cincinnati Reds Yasiel Puig (66) victorious with teammates in dugout during game vs Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA.

Cincinnati Reds Yasiel Puig (66) victorious with teammates in dugout throughout recreation vs Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA.
(Robert Beck /Sports activities Illustrated by way of Getty Photographs)

In 2019, Puig performed for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians. On June 25, the Reds performed the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim and by Sept. 29, Puig’s season was over. The Guardians have been in D.C. taking part in the Washington Nationals.

Main League Baseball didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information Digital’s request for remark.

Federal investigators interviewed Puig in January 2022. Officers mentioned he falsely said he solely new “Agent 1” from baseball and that he by no means talked about playing with him. He additionally mentioned he didn’t know the one that advised him to ship the $200,000 in cashiers’ checks to “Particular person A.”

Officers mentioned Puig despatched “Particular person B” an audio message by way of WhatsApp in March 2022 sying he lied to federal brokers throughout their interview.

“Beneath our system of justice, nobody is above the legislation,” U.S. Lawyer Martin Estrada of the Central District of California, mentioned in a information launch. “The integrity of our nation’s felony justice system depends upon individuals telling the reality, and people who fail to abide by this straightforward principal should face penalties.”

 Former Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig, now of the  Cincinnati Reds, reacts to questions at a press conference before the game on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. 

 Former Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig, now of the  Cincinnati Reds, reacts to questions at a press convention earlier than the sport on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. 
(Harry How/Getty Photographs)

IRS Legal Investigation Los Angeles Discipline Workplace Particular Agent in Cost Tyler Hatcher added: “When given the chance to be truthful about his involvement with Nix’s Playing companies, Mr. Puig selected to not. Mr. Puig’s lies hindered the authorized and procedural duties of the investigators and prosecutors.”

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Puig was taking part in baseball in South Korea. He joined the Dodgers from Cuba in 2012 and was an All-Star with them in 2014.



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