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Former Infielder Betancourt Faces Charges in Alleged Insurance Fraud Case

Yuniesky Betancourt, a former Major League Baseball infielder, has been arrested for an alleged insurance fraud scheme involving $61,000.
Cover Image Source; Yuniesky Betancourt of the Milwaukee Brewers | Getty Images | Photo by George Gojkovich
Cover Image Source; Yuniesky Betancourt of the Milwaukee Brewers | Getty Images | Photo by George Gojkovich

Former Major League Baseball infielder Yuniesky Betancourt has been arrested in connection with an alleged insurance fraud scheme, Miami-Dade Police reported. The former player, along with four others, is accused of orchestrating a staged car crash to collect $61,000 in insurance payouts, a common scheme in South Florida.

Yuniesky Betancourt #3 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws to first base against the Cincinnati Reds | Getty Images | Photo by Jamie Sabau
Image Source: Yuniesky Betancourt #3 of the Milwaukee Brewers | Getty Images | Photo by Jamie Sabau

Betancourt, 42, is a Cuban-born baseball player who spent nine seasons in Major League Baseball as a shortstop for some of the most famous teams. Baseball Reference reports that he earned over $15.7 million during his major league career.

The ex-MLB player is one of four individuals accused of orchestrating a plan to defraud a Chicago-based insurance company out of $61,000 by staging a car crash and filing false claims. Betancourt, along with Maura Perez, Nancy Mercedes Pena, and Abel Vera, reportedly faked an accident to collect insurance payouts from Kemper Insurance.

He now faces four felony charges, including filing false insurance claims, an organized scheme to defraud, faking an accident, and third-degree grand theft. Recently, he was released on a $1,000 bond.


Betancourt's arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 13. He is being represented by the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office. The 42-year-old Cuban athlete played for three Major League Baseball teams between 2005 and 2013. After exiting Cuba in 2003, he signed with the Seattle Mariners and debuted in the majors in 2005.

In 2009, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals and then moved to the Milwaukee Brewers ahead of the 2011 season. Betancourt returned to Kansas City in 2012 and then played his final MLB season with the Brewers in 2013. Betancourt also played professionally in Japan in 2014 and Mexico from 2015 to 2018. 

Yuniesky Betancourt #3 of the Milwaukee Brewers singles against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field | Getty Images | Photo by Scott Cunningham
Image Source: Yuniesky Betancourt #3 of the Milwaukee Brewers | Getty Images | Photo by Scott Cunningham

In a similar incident, former Detroit Pistons player Will Bynum was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Tuesday for his involvement in an NBA insurance fraud scandal. Bynum, 41, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court after being convicted in November of conspiring to make false statements related to fraudulent dental and medical claims submitted to the NBA Players’ Health and Benefit Welfare Plan.

The case has led to convictions for more than 20 individuals, many of whom are former NBA players. In addition to his prison sentence, Bynum was ordered to forfeit $182,000 and pay restitution of the same amount.

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According to court documents, the former player participated in a scheme from 2018 to 2019 alongside other former NBA players such as Terrence Williams and Keyon Dooling to defraud the plan. Williams and Dooling, who previously pleaded guilty, have been sentenced to 10 years and 30 months in prison, respectively.

Furthermore, authorities reported that Bynum received fake invoices from another former NBA player, falsely showing $200,000 in medical services he allegedly received from a Los Angeles-area chiropractor, even though the services were never provided. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated in a release that Bynum "lied to the jury while under oath."