Former Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Yasiel Puig could be facing jail time for lying to federal agents about his involvement in an illegal sports betting operation.
Per ESPN’s David Purdum, Puig pled guilty to a charge for lying to federal investigators over placing sports bets in the illegal operation. He’ll pay a $55,000 fine, and he faces a potential five-year prison sentence.
Puig was involved in a sports betting operation ran by Wayne Joseph Nix in Newport Coast, California. According to a release from the United States Department of Justice, Puig lied while speaking to investigators in January of this year.
Nix pleaded guilty to charges. His hearing is currently scheduled to take place on March 8 of next year.
You can view the full release from the United States Department of Justice below.
Puig now plays for the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO League in South Korea. He last played in the Majors for Cleveland in 2019.
The 31-year-old turned professional in June of the 2013 season. He immediately turned heads with incredible play, finishing the season with 19 homers, 42 RBI and a .319 batting average to go along with an OPS of .925.
His efforts helped the Dodgers win the NL West division title. They advanced all the way to the NLCS, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in six games.
Puig was instrumental in helping the Dodgers emerge as a consistent winner throughout the 2010s decade. They won the NL West in each of his six seasons with the organization, and the 2014 All-Star also helped them to World Series appearances in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
After the 2018 season, the Dodgers traded Puig to the Cincinnati Reds. He was subsequently traded to Cleveland ahead of the 2019 trade deadline. Puig finished his MLB career with 132 home runs, 415 RBI, a .277 batting average and an OPS of .823.
Puig finished his MLB career with 132 home runs, 415 RBI, a .277 batting average and an OPS of .823.
Needless to say, social media was shocked by the news of Puig’s involvement in an illegal gambling operation. Here’s how they reacted: