Ex-Dodgers star Yasiel Puig to plead guilty to lying to federal authorities in sports gambling investigation

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California agreed Monday to plead guilty to former major league infielder Yasiel Puig for lying to federal law enforcement about his bets on illegal sports gambling. According to unsealed court documents, Puig plans to plead guilty to the perjury charge, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

Puig was also ordered to pay a fine of 55,000 US dollars. He is scheduled to appear in US District Court on November 15.

The charges against Puig stem from his involvement in the illegal gambling business of Wayne Nix, who pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to operate an illegal sports betting business and filing false tax returns. Puig paid Knicks operations $200,000 to settle a gambling debt and then placed 899 additional bets in less than three months, according to the U.S. Attorney’s statement.

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“In January 2022, federal investigators interviewed Puig in the presence of his attorney. Puig lied several times during the interview, despite being warned that lying to federal agents is a crime. During the interview, he lied that he only knew Agent No. 1. sports and never discussed gambling with him, in fact, Puig had hundreds of phone and text conversations with Agency 1 about sports betting.

“After agents showed Puig one of the cashier’s checks purchased on June 25, 2019, Puig falsely stated that he did not know the person who instructed him to send him the $200,000 cashier’s check. Puig also falsely stated that he did not know the person on the unknown website. lost $200,000 in online gambling with an acquaintance.

“In March 2022, Puig sent an audio message via WhatsApp to W and admitted to lying to federal agents during an interview two months earlier.”

Puig, a native of Cuba who turns 32 in early December, has played in the majors for seven seasons, six with the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that span, he hit .277/.348/.475 with 132 home runs, 79 stolen bases and one All-Star appearance. He last appeared in MLB in 2019. In 2021, Puig played in the Mexican League, and last season he played with the Kivum Knights of the Korean Baseball Organization.

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