Saturday, February 12, 2011

Update on White Sox Kickback Scandal

As I first discussed here back in November and Mike followed-up with in December, the White Sox organization suffered a PR blow when a Federal grand jury indicted a former Chicago White Sox executive and two team scouts on charges that they took kickbacks totaling approximately $400,000 from signing bonuses and contract buyouts paid to secure 23 prospective players between December 2004 and February 2008.

Yesterday, David Wilder, most recently the White Sox Director of Player Personnel, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud.
To generate the payoffs in the form of kickbacks, Wilder, along with two White Sox scouts (also indicted) would misrepresent the amount of money needed to sign Mexican and Latin American prospects. As a result, the White Sox paid artificially high amounts for players' rights as well as inflated signing bonuses. Federal sentencing guidelines could result in up to four years in prison for Wilder, but his plea agreement allegedly contains a recommendation from the prosecution for only two years in prison.