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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

Yasiel Puig pleads guilty to felony for lying about illegally betting on sports

Yasiel Puig with red hair

Sep 19, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) smiles in the dugout during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

Yasiel Puig has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to federal agents regarding his connection to an illegal sports betting operation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

The Department of Justice issued a release on Monday detailing the nature of Puig’s charge.

The Department of Justice had been investigating an illegal sports betting ring based in Newport Coast, Calif. that was run by a former minor league baseball player. The operation had many professional athletes for clients and some former athletes as employees.

One of the clients was Puig, who in 2019 paid off $282,900 in sports gambling losses.

Puig is making headlines now because he lied to federal investigators in January about his involvement with one of the bookies involved in the operation. The Department of Justice press release says Puig lied several times despite being in the presence of his attorney, and despite being told lying to federal investigators was a felony.

According to the facts listed in the release, Puig was a gambling addict. “From July 4, 2019 to September 29, 2019, Puig placed 899 additional bets on tennis, football and basketball games through the websites.”

Puig was playing for the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds during that span in 2019. That was his final season playing in MLB. The 31-year-old now plays in Korea.

Puig faces five years in prison and is set to appear in court on Tuesday.


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