Former Major League Baseball and Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig faces new charges in connection with an alleged sports gambling operation.
Puig, 32, faces two federal counts of making false statements and obstructing justice, which could carry up to 10 years in prison. He was due to be arraigned on Friday.
In November 2022, the United States Attorney’s Office announced that Puig had pleaded guilty to lying to authorities about betting on sports through an illegal bookmaking ring run by a Newport Coast, California, man.
From May 2019 through September 2019, authorities say Puig placed hundreds of bets on tennis, football and basketball games, with his losses totaling $282,000.
The plea agreement involved a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a fine of at least $55,000, the DOJ said.
The Cuban-born outfielder later withdrew his guilty plea.
The DOJ has not alleged that Puig betted on baseball.
“The government’s indictment arises out of a single interview he gave back in January (2022) via Zoom,” Puig’s agent, Lisette Carnet of Leona Sports Agency, said in November.
“He came to the interview feeling rushed, unprepared, without criminal counsel with him, and also lacked his own interpreter. Given his history growing up in authoritarian Cuba, government interviews are triggering and only worsen his ADHD symptoms and other mental health struggles, for which he is in treatment. He would have benefited from this care at the time of the interview.”
Puig, whose full name is Yasiel Puig Valdés, played six seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers (2013-2018) and was an All-Star in 2014. His career has also included stints with the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and Kiwoom Heroes of South Korea’s KBO League.
He is currently a free agent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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