The wife of Carlos Peguero, who is an outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, has been charged by federal investigators of making more than $180,000 in purchases that were not authorized, with a debit card that belonged to someone else in the baseball organization.
The Seattle Times reported last week that the unnamed victims in the case are pitcher Felix Hernandez and his wife.
According to court documents, Maria Peguero was charged in early October with three counts of wire fraud. An agent who works in the Secret Service stated in the filings in court that Peguero made as many as 60 unauthorized purchases on the card in 2012 from the retailer Saks Fifth Avenue.
Peguero was arrested but is now on bond. Her attorney has not commented on the case.She has pleaded not guilty at this point.
Court documents do not state who owned the debit card, but one of the filings stated that one of them was a co-worker of Carlos Peguero. Peguero has played in the Mariner’s organization for several years, and has played some games at the major league level.
One of the owners of the card, Hernendez’s wife, does not understand English, and she said that Maria Peguero helped her make some online purchases in May 2012. Peguero asked her if she reviews her bills and said she usually did not because their finances are handled by a third party.
Police say that Peguero had many items shipped to her apartment in Fife. Saks representatives started to look into the purchases because the billing and shipping addresses were different.
Carlos Peguero has not been charged in this case, and he told police that his wife told him that her relative is a worker at Saks.
One part of the investigation focused on pictures that Maria put on her Twitter feed. Some of the images showed her in clothes that matched some of the items that were bought from Saks, including a $1750 purse and a $200 blouse.
Government agents got a search warrant and removed dozens of pricey items from Maria’s apartment.
Hernandez has won the Cy Young Award and makes about $20 million a year with the Mariners. Carlos Peguero splits his time between the Mariners and their Triple A team, the Tacoma Rainiers. He played only two games for Seattle this past year.
Maria Peguero is the daughter of the late relief pitcher Pedro Borbon, who played for the Cincinnati Reds.