CHICAGO (CN) – A former Chicago White Sox scout pleaded not guilty to federal charges of mail fraud: taking kickbacks from Latin American baseball prospects. Jorge Oquendo Rivera, 49, of Puerto Rico, entered his plea without his two co-defendants, who missed the arraignment due to an “emergency,” prosecutors said.
Rivera, former senior director of player personnel David Wilder, and former scout Victor Mateo, are accused of inflating prospects’ signing bonuses, then kicking back the extra money to themselves.
Wilder and Mateo were scheduled to enter pleas with Rivera, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Tyler Murray told The Associated Press that they couldn’t attend the arraignment due to an “emergency situation.”
Murray said they will both be arraigned this week.