Former Sox executive Wilder receives two years in prison

Former Sox executive Wilder receives two years in prison
August 28, 2013, 5:15 pm
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A difficult period in White Sox history ended on Wednesday as former executive Dave Wilder has been sentenced to two years in prison.
 
Then in charge of the team’s operations in Latin America, Wilder and two scouts were discovered to be involved in a scheme to bilk portions of signing bonuses from international free-agent signees.
 
Kickbacks totaling roughly $440,000 were collected from 23 players over a three-plus year period, per media reports. Wilder was indicted in 2010 and pled guilty to a single count of mail fraud in 2011. The incident set the franchise’s operations in Latin America back several years until the team hired Marco Paddy in August 2011.
 
“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 team said in a statement.
 
Per Bloomberg, scout Jorge Oquendo Rivera was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on Wednesday and scout Victor Mateo is to be sentenced Sept. 18.
 
The White Sox have worked hard to regain a foothold in Latin America since Paddy’s hire in 2011. They added seven new scouts to the department earlier this year and assistant general manager Buddy Bell said he’s happy with the players he has seen the system begin to produce.
 
On July 2 the White Sox signed Dominican Republic outfielder Micker Zapata to a franchise-record $1.6 million signing bonus. MLB.com rates Zapata, 16, the No. 2 international prospect.
 
“(We were) very aggressive this past spring in that area I’m about as excited about this Zapata kid as I’ve been for any kid that we’ve brought into the organization since I’ve been around,” executive vice president Kenny Williams recently said.