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Ex-Dodgers Star Yasiel Puig Pulls Out of Gambling Plea

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Dec/01/2022

Former LA Dodgers player Yasiel Puig has withdrawn from an agreement to plead guilty in an illegal gambling investigation, it was revealed on late Wednesday evening. He will instead plead not guilty.  Puig had initially filed his guilty plea back in August.

The U.S. Justice Department accused the 31-year-old of making false statements as it related to the investigation of his alleged ties to an illegal gambling operation.  The former MLB player, now with the Korean Baseball Organization, also agreed to pay a fine of at least $55,000.

The DOJ said Puig started placing bets on sporting events through a third party by the name of Wayne Joseph Nix back in May 2019. One month later the DOJ claimed that Puig owed Nix's company $282,900 in gambling losses.  An additional 899 of bets were placed on tennis, football and basketball matches over the next several months, according to the agency.

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“When given the opportunity to be truthful about his involvement with Nix’s gambling business, Mr. Puig chose not to,” IRS criminal investigation special agent Tyler Hatcher said in a statement from the DOJ. “Mr. Puig’s lies hindered the legal and procedural tasks of the investigators and prosecutors.”

Puig's agent, Lisette Carnet, advised that a renowned civil rights attorney has been brought on board to assist with the matter.

"He 'was finally happy'," Carnet noted via her Twitter account. "He had gotten the support for his mental health and played amazing in Korea, only to come back to this nightmare. We are looking forward to demonstrating his innocence with newly found supporting evidence."

But the stakes are high for the former MLB player.  Should he be found guilty of making false statements to federal investigators, Puig will be facing up to five years in prison.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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