Puig pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents, which carries a maximum five-year federal prison sentence.
Former MLB outfielder Yaisel Puig pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to federal law enforcement agents about placing bets on sporting events with an illegal gambling operation, the Department of Justice announced Monday. The offense carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
Puig, currently playing professional baseball in South Korea, also has agreed to pay a minimum fine of $55,000.
Puig began to place bets in May 2019 through an illegal gambling business run by Wayne Joseph Nix of Newport Coast, Calif. By June of that same year, Puig owed Nix’s gambling business $282,900 in lost bets.
After paying Nix $200,000, Puig placed 899 additional bets on tennis, football and basketball games from July 4 to Sept. 29, 2019. Federal investigators interviewed Puig in January of this year, during which Puig provided false statements despite being reminded that lying to federal agents was a serious offense.
In April, Nix pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to operate an illegal sports gambling business and one count of filing a false tax return. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 8, 2023.
Puig last appeared in MLB in 2019, when he played with Cleveland and Cincinnati. In total, he spent seven seasons in the majors, including six with the Dodgers, making the NL All-Star team in 2014.
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