Yasiel Puig Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges

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Andrew Powell Contributor
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Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig will plead guilty to intentionally misinforming law enforcement about sports bets he made with an illegal gambling business.

Puig, who plays professional baseball in South Korea, will plead guilty to one count of making false statements, and might face five years in federal prison, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Puig has also agreed to pay a minimal fine of $55,000, the DOJ said, and will make his first appearance in court Tuesday.

Puig played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians throughout his seven-year career in Major League Baseball from 2013-2019. He started betting on sports in May 2019, doing so through a third party who was employed by a Wayne Nix-run illegal gambling set-up. Nix is a former player in Minor League Baseball.

Puig was already in the hole $282,900 to Nix’s betting service by the next month in June, and due to his debt, he lost access to the business’ websites, according to the DOJ. However, he won back access after paying off $200,000, and then proceeded to place another 899 bets on sports such as football, basketball and tennis between July 4-Sept. 29 of 2019, the DOJ said.

The documents from the DOJ do not feature any bets that were made on baseball.

After becoming a free agent in Major League Baseball in 2019, Puig left for the Mexican League, then later joined the Kiwoom Heroes in South Korea on a one-year, $1 million contract. (RELATED: What Were They Thinking?: MLB Team Drops General Manager Less Than A Week After Winning World Series)

My question: Why didn’t Yasiel Puig just bet through a legal service with all of the legal sports gambling options today?

Man, how the mighty have fallen.