News Column

Ex-Mariners wife sentenced for misuse of Hernandez wife's debit card

June 24, 2014

By Zahra Farah, The Seattle Times



June 24--TACOMA -- The wife of former Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in prison for using a bank card belonging to the wife of pitcher Felix Hernandez to go on a massive online shopping spree.

Also, Maria Jacqueline Peguero will be required to have three years of supervision after release from prison.

Peguero apologized before learning her sentence. "I would just like to say I'm sorry," she told the court.

Among those present during a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Tacoma were her husband and friends from her church. Once Carlos Peguero sat down, he bowed his head and started to pray.

When U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle announced the sentence, Maria Peguero began weeping.

After the sentencing, her defense attorney told the judge she was pregnant.

He said at some point the Federal Bureau of Prisons will have to decide how Peguero should finish her sentence because of her pregnancy.

Peguero pleaded guilty Feb. 7 to three counts of wire fraud for online charges made on a debit card belonging to Sandra Hernandez.

Those charges, made in September 2012 at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, totaled more than $8,200, according to information filed with the court on Jan. 31.

But prosecutors said Peguero also used credit or debit cards belonging to Sandra Hernandez, the wife of the Mariners' $25 million-a-year starting pitcher and former Cy Young Award winner, to make a total of nearly $200,000 in unauthorized purchases between May and October in 2012.

In court, the prosecution said Peguero would have to pay $165,000 in restitution.

Settle said he didn't think Peguero made the purchases out of greed. He said that with counseling, Peguero can confront what she did.

Prosecutors say Sandra Hernandez, a native Spanish speaker, had asked Maria Peguero for assistance with some online purchases after the two became friends. Sandra Hernandez told investigators Peguero sometimes stayed with her while their husbands were on the road.

Hernandez also told investigators Peguero asked if she ever reviewed her credit-card statements and was told no, prosecutors said.

Peguero then used information from the cards to go on a personal three-month spending spree that included 60 separate transactions ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than $11,000 apiece, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the investigation began when Saks Fifth Avenue in New York began to scrutinize a series of online purchases made with a Morgan Stanley debit card through an account belonging to a "Jackie Peguero" because the billing and shipping addresses were different.

Maria Peguero, 22, is the youngest daughter of the late Pedro Borbon, who played major league baseball for 12 seasons -- 10 for Cincinnati -- as an acclaimed relief pitcher.

Carlos Peguero, 27, signed with the Mariners in 2005 and spent three seasons splitting his time between the Mariners and their AAA Tacoma farm club. He played in just two major league games in the 2013 season for the Mariners before signing with Kansas City.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this story.

Zahra Farah can be reached at zfarah@seattletimes.com or 206-464-3195.

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(c)2014 The Seattle Times

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Source: Seattle Times (WA)


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