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Former Major League Baseball outfielder Yasiel Puig is facing a new obstruction of justice charge for his involvement in an illegal sports betting ring, according to The Athletic.
In May 2019, Puig allegedly began sports betting through a third party that was engaged in an illegal sports betting business. Puig and his attorneys were subsequently interviewed in January 2022, and he allegedly lied to investigators, telling them he did not Knowing a third party is through gambling. However, Puig discussed the betting with third parties “hundreds of times” by phone and text message. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Puig admitted to lying to investigators in a WhatApp audio message sent in March 2022. The 32-year-old initially agreed to plead guilty to lying to investigators and pay a $55,000 fine, but he was released in 2022. Withdrew from the agreement in November and changed his plea to not guilty, when he said he “should never have agreed to plead guilty to a crime I did not commit.” Puig pleaded not guilty Friday in a Los Angeles court to felony charges of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators. The trial is scheduled for April 25. “We are disappointed that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has furthered its unfair practice Indictment of Yasiel Puig. No new conduct in dispute: The new charges of alleged obstruction are based on the same baseless allegations as the original charges, all involving a Zoom interview. By adding additional charges, they are trying to punish Puig Thank you for exercising your constitutional rights and standing up for the truth – he is innocent.” Puig spent most of his seven-year MLB career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 and was an All-Star in 2014. During the 2019 season, he split his time between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guards. He slashed .277/.348/.475 with 132 home runs and 415 RBIs in 861 games over seven seasons.
While in MLB, Puig signed with El Águila de Veracruz of the Mexican League in April 2021. In December of the same year, he signed with the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean baseball organization.