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Ex-Major Leaguer Faces Sentencing

March 3, 1999

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Former San Diego Padres player John D’Acquisto faces decades in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in an investment scheme.

D’Acquisto, 46, who pitched for five major league teams from 1973-1982, will be sentenced May 19 in San Diego Superior Court on charges he defrauded investors of about $7 million in 1994.

D’Acquisto admitted in court Monday that he persuaded investors to put millions of dollars into business entities he controlled. He falsely represented to those investors that several hundred million dollars was put in programs that could provide returns of 5 to 7 1/2 percent per week.

He also generated false investment transaction reports, which claimed that some investments had grown by millions of dollars. In fact, little or no funds had been invested on their behalf.

D’Acquisto used they money to buy three race horses, a $70,000 Porsche, a contingent interest in a Mexican minor league baseball team and vacant land in Mexico, prosecutors said.

He faces up to 10 years on each of the 34 counts of money laundering and five years for wire fraud.

The investment scheme wasn’t D’Acquisto’s first. In 1996, he was sentenced to more than 5 years in prison after he was convicted of attempting to open a trading account at Prudential Securities Inc. in New York by presenting a forged $200 million certificate of deposit. He was later indicted on the California charges.

D’Acquisto talked big-money transactions for years, and once said he could write a check to buy the San Diego Padres.

A Padres pitcher from 1977 to 1980, D’Acquisto also played for San Francisco, St. Louis and Oakland. He finished with a career record of 34-51, with his best season being a 12-14 mark with San Francisco in 1974.

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