Ex-MLB infielder arrested as 1 of 4 alleged 'scam artists' in insurance fraud scheme, police say


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Former MLB infielder Yuniesky Betancourt was arrested last week for alleged insurance fraud.

Miami-Dade Police say Betancourt is one of four “scam artists,” with the scheme paying out $61,000.

Records say Betancourt, Maura Perez, Nancy Mercedes Pena and Abel Vera faked a car crash to collect insurance premiums from a Chicago-based firm, Kemper.

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Yuniesky Betancourt hitting

Yuniesky Betancourt of the Milwaukee Brewers makes contact at the plate during a game against the San Diego Padres at Miller Park July 24, 2013, in Milwaukee.  (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Betancourt was charged with four felonies — filing false insurance claims, an organized scheme to defraud, faking an accident and third-degree grand theft. He paid a $1,000 bond.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 13. Betancourt is being represented by the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office.

Yuniesky Betancourt

Yuniesky Betancourt of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox May 28, 2008, at Safeco Field in Seattle. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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The 42-year-old Cuban import played for three MLB teams from 2005 to 2013. After defecting from Cuba in 2003, he signed with the Seattle Mariners and made his MLB debut in 2005.

He was then traded to the Kansas City Royals during the 2009 season and sent to the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2011 campaign. Betancourt went back to Kansas City in 2012 before returning to Milwaukee for the 2013 season, his last in the majors.

Yuniesky Betancourt fielding

Yuniesky Betancourt of the Kansas City Royals throws to first against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium July 22, 2010, in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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Betancourt also played professionally in Japan in 2014 and in Mexico from 2015 to 2018. He made approximately $16 million during his MLB career.

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