Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Ex-Mets Equipment Manager Samuels Pleas Guilty to Charges
Samuels, 52, who was banned for life from CitiField and the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to repay about $50,000 in back taxes and restitution to the team and Queens DA’s office.
The Amazins’ longtime clubhouse boss pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of tax fraud.
He had to cough up a nearly $25,000 partial payment to get out of Queens Criminal Court today, and was also ordered to pay the Queens DA’s office $15,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.
Samuels, who spent almost his entire adult life working for the Mets, was also accused of falsifying business records so he could skim $25,000 off meal money the Mets provide to umpires, and of cheating on his city and state taxes to save $24,000 over two years by not declaring the tips players gave him.
He had faced between 8 1/3 and 25 years in prison if convicted, and could still be locked up if he violates probation or fails to repay the cash.
Samuels started working for the Mets in 1976. He was made equipment manager in 1983 and later became clubhouse manager and traveling secretary.
He is accused of stealing 507 jerseys, 828 bats, 304 hats, 22 batting helmets and 10 equipment bags that were found in a friend’s basement in Madison, Conn.
The Mets fired him after an audit found he wrote checks from the team to cover his personal expenses.