Ex-White Sox scout sentenced in kickback scheme - KMSP-TV

Ex-White Sox scout sentenced in kickback scheme

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David Wilder, 52. David Wilder, 52.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

David Wilder was thought to be baseball's next African-American general manager. Now, while most baseball executives are looking forward to October because of the playoffs and the World Series, Wilder has an October 31st date to report to prison.

Inside the 2007 Chicago White Sox media guide, there's a picture of David Wilder, senior director of player personnel. His job included overseeing all of the team's scouts in Latin America. He was a rising star back then, but on Wednesday, in a Dirksen building courtroom, he broke down and cried, after a judge sentenced him to two years in prison for mail fraud.

"His station in life has certainly changed from having one of the best jobs in all of America with the White Sox and a substantial income to having great difficulty getting employed and making money," defense attorney Thomas Bienert Jr. says of Wilder.

Wilder admitted to helping two White Sox scouts in Latin America provide 23 White Sox recruits with inflated signing bonuses. They were inflated so the youngsters would kick back some of those bonuses to the scouts, who shared the cash with Wilder. He pocketed over $400,000, telling Judge Charles Norgle, "I accepted kickbacks from Latin Americans, took money out of greed."

Among those writing letters, asking for leniency is former Cubs Manager Dusty Baker, now with the Reds. Baker called Wilder "a great father, a great son and a great brother."

He added that Wilder was his protégé, and "he was one of the most promising young African American executives in baseball."

"It's changed his life forever, obviously it was self-inflicted," says Bienert Jr. "He recognizes that, he's already made remarkable progress on just acknowledging what he did and trying to teach others not to make the same mistake."

Wilder's crimes occurred between 2003 and 2008.

The Sox have issued a statement saying, "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."

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