Former White Sox exec sentenced in kickback scheme

Aug. 28, 2013 at 7:43 PM   |   0 comments

CHICAGO, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Former Chicago White Sox executive David Wilder was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for taking kickbacks in signing deals, federal prosecutors said.

Wilder -- the team's farm system director from 2003-06, when he became senior director of player personnel until May 2008 -- pleaded guilty in February 2011 to mail fraud for taking about $440,000 in kickbacks from signing bonuses and contract buyouts paid by White Sox scouts in deals for 23 prospective players between December 2004 and February 2008, the Justice Department said in a news release.

Wilder, 52, of San Francisco was ordered to report Oct. 31 to begin serving his sentence. U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle ordered Wilder to pay $440,781 in restitution to the White Sox.

Wilder admitted he defrauded the White Sox and cooperated with investigators, resulting in a reduced sentence, the release said.

Former White Sox scouts Jorge Oquendo Rivera, 52, of Puerto Rico and Victor Mateo, 42, of the Dominican Republic have pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the case.

Rivera, the team's Latin American scout from November 2004 until October 2007, is to report to prison Friday to begin serving a sentence of one year and one day. Mateo, a scout in the Dominican Republic from November 2006 to May 2008, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18.

The White Sox discovered the kickback scheme and reported it to federal investigators, prosecutors said.

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