Former baseball executive Dave Wilder received a two-year federal prison sentence today for his role in taking kickbacks from international signings while with the White Sox.
Wilder, the former White Sox director of player personnel, received his sentence today from U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle in Chicago after being indicted in 2010 and pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud in 2011. According to the Chicago Tribune, Norgle also ordered Wilder to pay the White Sox $440,781 in restitution. The sentence followed prosecutors’ recommendation in the case.
From December 2004-February 2008, investigators said that Wilder orchestrated a kickback scheme in which he and other White Sox scouts artificially inflated the value of international players, signing them to bonuses beyond their value and taking a cut for themselves. There were kickbacks involved with 23 signings in all, the federal investigation found.
Two former White Sox scouts, Jorge Oquendo Rivera and Victor Mateo, have also pleaded guilty for their role in the kickback scheme. Rivera was sentenced to one year and a day in prison, while Mateo is scheduled to be sentenced in September.
The White Sox released a statement in response to the sentencing:
“The Chicago White Sox appreciate today’s judgment and sentencing by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Norgle. This has been a painful betrayal for the team, and while the White Sox organization has moved on during the intervening years, it is a relief to have closed this final chapter today. The White Sox would like to thank the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations for their roles in compiling evidence and in seeing this prosecution through to today’s completion. We believe the sentence handed down today by the court stands by itself and requires no additional comment from the White Sox beyond this statement.”