Dave Wilder sentenced to two years in bonus-skimming scandal

Jonathan Daniel

Ringleader in scandal

A federal judge sentenced Dave Wilder to two years in federal prison for his role as the ringleader of the bonus-skimming scandal that defrauded the White Sox of more than $400,000. Wilder was the White Sox' senior director of player personnel when he was fired by the club in 2008. He had pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud way back in February 2011 (justice does indeed move like molasses) as part of a plea deal to avoid up to 20 years in prison.

In addition, Wilder is required to pay back to the White Sox the amount stolen from them (along with Jorge Oquendo Rivera, who is co-liable for the full amount).  However, given Wilder's grim employment prospects, they are unlikely to ever get much of it back.

For those who don't recall all the details of this scandal and have some time on your hands, you can read my lengthy series on it here.  The short summary is that Wilder and two of his scouts, Oquendo and Victor Mateo, took at least $440,781 in kickbacks from at least 23 players they signed to inflated signing bonuses. The players came from all over Latin America, including the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico. I identified many of these players in my series and Andre Rienzo appears to be the only one who ever made the major leagues (most didn't make it beyond rookie leagues).

After Oquendo, who received a year and a day in prison, Wilder is the second of the three to be sentenced. Mateo's sentencing was delayed earlier this year and is now scheduled for September 18, 2013. Oquendo will begin serving his sentence this Friday. Wilder will begin serving his sentence on October 31.

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