TACOMA — The wife of former Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero was sentenced today to 12 months and a day in prison for using a bank card belonging to the wife of pitcher Felix Hernandez to go on a massive online shopping spree.
In addition, Maria Jacqueline Peguero was ordered to have three years of supervision following her release from prison during a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.
Peguero apologized before learning her sentence. “I would just like to say I’m sorry,” she told the court.
Once the judge announced the sentence she began crying.
Peguero’s attorney said she is pregnant.
She pleaded guilty Feb. 7 to three counts of wire fraud for a trio of online charges made on a debit card belonging to Sandra Hernandez.
Those charges, made in September 2012 at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, totaled more than $8,200, according to an information filed with the court on Jan. 31. But prosecutors said Peguero also used credit or debit cards belonging to the wife of the Mariners’ $25-million-a-year starting pitcher to make a total of nearly $200,000 in unauthorized purchases between June and September in 2012.
Prosecutors say Sandra Hernandez, a native Spanish speaker, had asked Maria Peguero for assistance making some online purchases after the two women became friends. Sandra Hernandez told investigators that Peguero sometimes stayed with her while their husbands were on the road.
Peguero then used information from the cards to go on a personal three-month spending spree that included 60 separate transactions ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than $11,000 apiece, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the investigation began when Saks Fifth Avenue in New York began to scrutinize a series of online purchases made with a Morgan Stanley debit card through an account belonging to a “Jackie Peguero” because the billing and shipping addresses were different.
Sandra Hernandez also told investigators that Peguero asked if she ever reviewed her credit-card statements and was told no, prosecutors said. She said “that she did not usually review the bills because their finances were managed by a third party,” according to the prosecutors.
Federal agents reportedly found pictures on a Twitter account connected to Peguero that allegedly showed her wearing or using some of the items they believe were purchased illegally from Saks.
In one, Peguero is sitting next to a Gucci handbag identical to one purchased from Saks through the Hernandez account for $1,750, according to the charges.
Peguero could have faced a possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison, but prosecutors had said in the plea deal they would not recommend a specific prison sentence.
In the plea deal, Maria Peguero agreed to pay $191,000 in restitution — roughly $180,000 to Saks Fifth Avenue and $11,000 to Nordstrom. The charges say Morgan Stanley bank reimbursed the victims after the fraud was discovered.
Maria Peguero, 22, is the youngest daughter of the late Pedro Borbon, who played major league baseball for 12 seasons — 10 for Cincinnati — as an acclaimed relief pitcher.
Carlos Peguero, 27, signed with the Mariners in 2005 and spent three seasons splitting his time between the Mariners and their AAA Tacoma farm club. He played in just two major league games in the 2013 season for the Mariners.