SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Former California Angels third baseman Doug DeCinces will be trading in his pinstripes for prison stripes.
Burbank-born DeCinces was convicted Friday on 14 counts of insider trading from stock tips he got from James Mazzo, a friend and a former CEO of a Santa Ana-based eyewear company.
The 66-year-old former pro baseball player and real estate developer faces up to 220 years behind bars at sentencing, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Jurors deadlocked on all counts against co-defendant Mazzo, 60. Another co-defendant, David Parker, 65, of Provo, Utah, was
convicted on three counts of insider trading.
A sentencing date has not been set. DeCinces and Parker were allowed to remain free on bond until sentencing.
Jurors deadlocked on several charges DeCinces faced. Prosecutors, however, were able to convince the jury of the most serious charges and said DeCinces made about $1.3 million on the tips.
His attorney, Kenneth Julian, argued that he was just receiving wise counsel from a friend described at trial as “the Warren Buffett of Orange County.”
Noting the alleged source of the insider tips was not convicted along with DeCinces, Julian believes there is sufficient grounds for a new trial.
“We don’t believe this is the end,” he said.
Prosecutors said Mazzo tipped DeCinces in late 2008 and early 2009 about his company’s plan to be acquired by Abbott Laboratories, prompting the former ballplayer to liquidate his stocks and invest the profits in Mazzo’s company.
They alleged DeCinces, in turn, passed that information on to several others. After Mazzo’s company was sold, DeCinces made the $1.3 million profit, prosecutors said.
Baltimore Orioles star Eddie Murray, a one-time DeCinces teammate, took in $234,915 with the stock tip, the prosecutor said.
When New York Stock Exchange officials grew suspicious of the traders and began to make inquiries, Mazzo lied about knowing Murray and another of DeCinces’ friends, who also profited from the stock, the attorney’s office said.
DeCinces began his baseball career with the Orioles in 1973. He was traded to the Angels in 1982. He stayed with the Angels through 1987 and finished his career with St. Louis the same year.
The slick-fielding, home run-hitting third baseman played nearly 16 years in the majors. His best season was in 1982, his first for the Angels, when he hit 30 of his 237 career homers and knocked in 97 of his 879 career RBIs. That same year, he came in third in American League MVP voting, losing out to Robin Yount and Eddie Murray.
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