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February 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Ex-Mariner’s wife pleads guilty in credit-card fraud

TACOMA – The wife of former Seattle Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero pleaded guilty to federal wire-fraud charges this morning for using a credit card belonging to the wife of pitcher Felix Hernandez to make thousands of dollars of unauthorized online purchases.

Maria Jacqueline Peguero pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to three counts of wire fraud for a trio of charges made on a credit card belonging to Sandra Hernandez in September 2012 for online purchases made at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. Those charges totaled more than $8,200, according to an information filed with the court on Jan. 31.

Overall, federal prosecutors say Peguero rolled up nearly $180,000 in unauthorized purchases between June and September of 2012 after befriending Sandra Hernandez, wife of the Mariners’ $25 million-a-year starting pitcher and Cy Young Award-winner.

Carlos Peguero, 26, was traded last week to the Kansas City Royals. He was in court this morning but declined to comment.

In federal charges filed in October by U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Ashleigh Audley, allege that Saks Fifth Avenue in New York began to scrutinize a series of online purchases made with a Morgan Stanley credit card through an account belonging to a “Jackie Peguero” because the billing and shipping addresses were different.

The charges say Morgan Stanley bank reimbursed the victims after the fraud was discovered.

According to the complaint, Sandra Hernandez asked Peguero for help making online purchases “due to (Hernandez’s) limited understanding of the English language.” Hernandez told investigators that Peguero had access to her credit cards during that time.

According to the complaint, the purchases went on for more than three months, during which time Peguero contacted Sandra Hernandez to ask if she ever reviewed her credit-card statements. Hernandez told Peguero “that she did not usually review the bills because their finances were managed by a third party,” according to the complaint.

U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle scheduled sentencing for May 12.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: credit-card fraud, felix hernandez, Seattle Mariners


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