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Feds: Ex-White Sox exec took kickbacks from prospects

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A former Chicago White Sox executive and two former team scouts were charged today with pocketing about $400,000 in signing bonuses and contract buyouts intended for young, impoverished Latin American baseball prospects. Among those charged was David Wilder, who was fired in 2008 as the Sox's senior director of player personnel amid the federal probe. Wilder, 50, was charged with seven counts of mail fraud. He was considered a rising star in baseball's front-office circles and was a close friend and a trusted adviser to White Sox general manager Ken Williams. Also charged were Jorge L. Oquendo Rivera, the Sox's Latin American scout from 2004 to 2007, and Victor Mateo, who was the club's scout in the Dominican Republic from 2006 to 2008. The indictment alleged that the three illegally defrauded 23 baseball prospects out of the $400,000 from December 2004 to February 2008. According to the charges, the three inflated the signing bonuses of prospects and then kicked back the added money to themselves.

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