Image for Mike Lukas Mike Lukas - December 5, 2022

Former MLB Player Puig Now Pleading “Not Guilty” to Lying in Sports Betting Case

  • New Evidence Causes Former MLB Outfielder Yasiel Puig to Change “Guilty” Plea

  • Last Month, Puig Agreed to Plead Guilty of Lying to Federal Agents, Faced Prison Time

  • Puig Had Accrued $280,000 in Wagering Losses on Non-Baseball Sports in 2019

Yasiel Puig Sports Betting Case

New Evidence Causes Former MLB Outfielder Yasiel Puig to Change “Guilty” Plea

For those arriving in the fourth inning of the ongoing saga of Yasiel Puig, the former MLB outfielder, the troubled athlete was set to plead guilty to lying to federal investigators who were looking into a gambling case, but Puig has now changed his mind based on new evidence.

Puig was set to plead guilty to misleading IRS agents and HIS Officials during a Zoom meeting meant to recruit him as a witness against certain gambling organizers and others, but recent info uncovered by his agent Lisette Carnet has led him to change his plea to “Not Guilty.”

https://twitter.com/lisettecarnet/status/1595607724141969408

According to a statement released last week, Puig’s attorney Keri Axel said:

“We have reviewed the evidence, including significant new information, and have serious concerns about the allegations made against Yasiel.”

The government’s charge is based on allegations that Mr. Puig “attempted to obstruct its inquiry by not being forthcoming about a person of interest,” but now these newly revealed facts that are exculpatory to him appear to corroborate what he told the feds, thus the shift in the plea.

In a recent statement to the press, Puig said:

“I want to clear my name. I never should have agreed to plead guilty to a crime I did not commit.”

That’s a 180-degree shift from his prior stance.

Last Month, Puig Agreed to Plead Guilty to Lying to Federal Agents, Faced Prison Time

In that statement last Wednesday, Puig’s attorney Axel made the case that not only does this new information prove her client told the truth to federal agents, he was not in a mental state to testify at all, let alone without anyone by his side, saying:

“At the time of his January 2022 interview, Mr. Puig, who has a third-grade education, had untreated mental health issues, and did not have his own interpreter or criminal legal counsel with him.”

Puig, who is Cuban-born, is reportedly “on an upward trajectory” in terms of his mental health struggles and ADHD, even playing in the South Korean professional baseball league last season after signing a $1 million contract.

Unless he plans to play pro ball again in America, the MLB has no interest in his case, his prior stretch in the Majors lasting seven seasons, six with the Los Angeles Dodgers, posting a career .277 batting average with 132 home runs and 415 RBIs along with an All-Star nod in 2014.

Problem is, Puig likes to gamble.

Puig Had Accrued $280,000 in Wagering Losses on Non-Baseball Sports in 2019

The lesson MLB great Pete Rose taught the world is that gambling and being a pro athlete don’t really mix, and unfortunately Puig did not learn from watching Charlie Hustle’s fall from glory, racking up more than $28k in losses betting on tennis, football, and basketball during 2019.

It’s that gambling run and the connections he had then that caused him to be involved in that investigation in the first place, but now it looks like the former MLB All-Star will not face jail time or probation in light of whatever new evidence his lawyer will now present.

As the U.S. legal sports betting market continues to grow and evolve, expect plenty more stories similar to this one as athletes hungry for even more thrills begin to get caught up in an industry best left until after retirement.

Image for Mike Lukas

AUTHOR

Mike Lukas

1223 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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