Former MLB superstar Yasiel Puig has pleaded guilty to lying to the authorities during an illegal gambling investigation.
Puig, 31, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of making false statements which carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. He has also agreed to pay a fine of at least $55,000, the Department of Justice said.
Puig — who’s now playing baseball in South Korea after seven seasons in the MLB — had been accused by officials of placing bets through an illegal gambling business beginning back in May 2019.
According to the plea agreement, Puig admits to placing sports bets through a third party who worked on behalf of an illegal gambling business run by Wayne Joseph Nix of Newport Coast, California.
Officials say in a matter of weeks, he racked up $282,900 in gambling losses — and then cut two separate $100K checks to the operators of the illegal gambling biz to pay off his debts … and continue to make bets.
From May 2019 through September 2019, authorities say Puig placed hundreds of bets on tennis, football, and basketball games.
Puig hasn’t played in the MLB since the 2019 season, when he was a member of both the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians.
In March, Nix was charged with one count of conspiring to operate an illegal sports gambling business and one count of filing a false tax return.