Ex-Dodger Yasiel Puig faces new cost in sports activities playing probe

Former Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who final 12 months withdrew from an settlement to plead responsible to mendacity to federal authorities in a sports activities playing investigation, is now dealing with a brand new cost within the case.

Puig, 32, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in downtown Los Angeles on one depend of creating false statements and one depend of obstruction of justice, in line with a federal case docket and a superseding indictment.

For the document:

12:10 p.m. Feb. 10, 2023A earlier model of this story mentioned Puig could be arraigned on two counts of creating false statements and one depend of obstruction of justice. He faces one depend of every.

In November, the Cuban-born baseball participant had agreed to plead responsible to 1 depend of creating false statements and agreed to pay a fantastic of a minimum of $55,000. He would have been eligible for probation underneath the settlement.

But weeks later, Puig withdrew from the plea deal.

“I want to clear my name,” Puig mentioned in a Nov. 30 assertion. “I never should have agreed to plead guilty to a crime I did not commit.”

Federal authorities had been investigating an unlawful sports activities playing operation run by Wayne Nix, a former minor-league baseball participant who lives in Newport Beach, when Puig allegedly lied in interviews about his involvement, in line with the preliminary plea settlement.

According to federal prosecutors, Puig lied when he advised investigators in a Jan. 27, 2022, interview that he had by no means mentioned betting with an unnamed agent working for Nix, described within the plea deal solely as “a former collegiate baseball player and private baseball coach.” In truth, the federal government alleges, Puig had incurred debt of greater than $280,000 on sports activities bets positioned with that agent within the first half of 2019.

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After paying off a part of the debt, the federal government alleges, Puig made “899 bets on tennis, football, and basketball games” via an offshore web site related to Nix’s ring.

There isn’t any proof within the plea settlement that Puig, who performed for the Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians in his Major League Baseball profession, guess on baseball.

Puig’s lawyer, Keri Axel, mentioned in a November assertion that “significant new evidence” had prompted the withdrawal from the plea settlement. Axel didn’t say within the assertion what that new proof may be, and she or he advised The Times via a spokesman: “We are prepared to publicly share that information in the appropriate forum and at the appropriate time.”

However, in a court docket listening to earlier that month, she urged that messages left for Puig by the unnamed agent and his affiliate raised the chance that Puig might need been entrapped.

Of the Zoom interview during which Puig is alleged to have lied to investigators, Axel mentioned: “Mr. Puig, who has a third-grade education, had untreated mental-health issues, and did not have his own interpreter or criminal legal counsel with him.”

Times employees author Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.