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Former Cuban Major League Player Yuniesky Betancourt Arrested in Miami

The former Cuban Major League Baseball player, Yuniesky Betancourt Pérez, was arrested along with three other people on insurance fraud charges in Miami-Dade County. Betancourt, 42, is accused of simulating a car accident with Maura Pérez, Nancy Mercedes Peña, and Abel Vera to collect insurance premiums, a common scam in South Florida.

Betancourt and the other three arrested are accused of improperly claiming personal injury benefits from the insurer Kemper Insurance, a Chicago-based company that paid $61,000 in this case.

State Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, stated that the detainees carefully orchestrated the incident, submitting false reports to the police and the insurance company, emphasizing that committing fraud in Florida will lead to justice.

A thorough investigation revealed that the accident never occurred despite alleged injury claims and subsequent medical treatments. The four defendants face charges of staged accidents, insurance fraud, organized fraud scheme, and grand theft, with a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Betancourt, represented by the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office, was released from jail after paying bail of $4,500. Yuniesky Betancourt played in Cuban baseball before joining the Major League Baseball in the United States, playing for the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, and Milwaukee Brewers.

He earned more than $15.7 million throughout his major league career and also played in the NPB and the Mexican Baseball League. Betancourt last played in the majors in 2013 and finished his professional career in Japan in 2014.

In 2019, he became the first former MLB player to return to the Cuban national baseball system after leaving the country.

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