(CN) – New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez allegedly paid his cousin Yuri Sucart nearly $1 million to buy his silence about the slugger’s use of performance enhancing drugs, according to court papers filed in Miami.
Sucart was indicted with four others in August on charges of distributing the anabolic steroid testosterone. Among the things prosecutors have said they will prove as the case moves forward is that Sucart arranged meetings between Rodriguez and “the Miami PED-peddler Tony Bosch … for the purpose of improving A-Rod’s strength, endurance and recovery from injuries.”
Sucart has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But in documents filed in the federal court in Miami on Friday — documents filed to contest Sucart’s request for a court-appointed attorney — Assistant U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer minced no words in discussing the embattled ballplayer, who is currently scheduled to rejoin the Yankees next spring, following a year-long suspension stemming from his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
“The government will prove that defendant personally arranged meetings between Rodriguez and Bosch, where Bosch injected Rodriguez with PEDs; and that defendant received an ample cut of the payments Rodriguez made to Bosch,” the documents say.
According to the documents, which were filed in the connection with the feds case against Sucart, “[s]ometime in 2012, Rodriguez and defendant had a rancorous and personal falling-out, and defendant’s ’employment’ by Rodriguez ended, although the ‘salary’ Rodriguez paid him continued into 2013.”
Prosecutors claim that as the payments came to an end, Sucart began sending threatening letters ot Rodriguez, demanding enormous sums of money “be paid him in recognition of his many years of service, and for ‘handling matters that were of a very sensitive confidential nature.”
The letters allegedly include threats to expose those matters, and one in particular suggests Rodriguez pay $5 million and provide a “life estate” for Sucart and his wife in exchange for the man’s continued silence.
By the time Rodriguez received that letter, Major League Baseball was investigating the connection between players and Biogenesis, which billed itself as an anti-aging clinic in Miami. Ultimately that investigation would result in the suspension of 14 players, including Rodriguez.
Because Rodriguez had previously admitted to short-term PED use — identifying Sucart as the source of the drugs — he was initially hit with a 211-game suspension. That punishment was later reduced to 162 games plus the post season.
The prosecutors say Rodriguez gave into the pressure from Sucart, and on June 5, 2013, entered into a confidential settlement agreement in which one of the ballplayer’s companies, Newport Property Ventures Ltd., would pay Sucart an initial $700,000, followed by additional payments totaling another $200,000.
“The sums of money obtained by defendant in the past several years as a result of his association with Alexander Rodriguez are more than adequate for defendant to retain a defense attorney at his own expense,” Ferrer wrote. “He should not be found entitled to the services of a CJA attorney, and his attempt to justify such an appoitnment by the averments of his wholly inadequate and extremely misleading Financial Report should be rejected.”
U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga ordered Sucart to pay $600 a month for a court-appointed attorney.
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