Yasiel Puig changing plea to not guilty of lying to investigators
Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig has withdrawn from an agreement to plead guilty to lying to federal agents amid an investigation into an illegal gambling investigation, his legal team announced Wednesday. He will instead plead not guilty.
The Department of Justice had previously announced Puig, who spent last season playing in South Korea, agreed to plead guilty to making false statements to federal investigators, accepting a $55,000 fine.
In their statement, Puig’s attorneys said “significant new evidence has come to light that prompted the change in plea” and announced they had added civil rights attorney Lawrence Middleton as a consultant.
“I want to clear my name,” Puig said in the statement. “I never should have agreed to plead guilty to a crime I did not commit.”
If Puig is found guilty of making false statements to federal investigators, he faces up to five years in prison, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin.