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Former White Sox employee Wilder sentenced

Gets two years in prison, ordered to pay restitution for kickback scheme

CHICAGO -- David Wilder, who once held a front-office position for the Chicago White Sox, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Norgle on Wednesday to two years in prison for a scheme that involved kickbacks totaling approximately $400,000 from signing bonuses and contract buyouts paid to secure 23 prospective Latin American players between December 2004 and February 2008.

"The loss here is to the White Sox," said Judge Norgle at a Wednesday hearing, per a Bloomberg Businessweek article.

"There's not a whole lot I can say to take back what I've done," Wilder told Norgle before the sentencing, per the same article. "I did a bad thing."

Wilder served as the White Sox Minor League director from late 2003 to 2006, when he became the team's senior director of player personnel until May 2008. He was dismissed later that month, along with Jorge Oquendo Rivera and Victor Mateo, two former White Sox scouts who were also part of the kickback scheme.

Rivera was terminated by the White Sox in June 2007 for reasons unrelated to this investigation. Wilder and Mateo were terminated by the White Sox as a result of a Major League Baseball investigation, which began at the request of the team.

Following the sentencing, the White Sox issued a statement that said they appreciated the judgment and sentencing by Judge Norgle.

"This has been a painful betrayal for the team, and while the White Sox organization has moved on during the intervening years, it is a relief to have closed this final chapter today," the White Sox said in the statement. "The White Sox would like to thank the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office and Major League Baseball's Department of Investigations for their roles in compiling evidence and in seeing this prosecution through to today's completion.

"We believe the sentence handed down today by the court stands by itself and requires no additional comment from the White Sox beyond this statement."

According to Businessweek, Wilder is required to pay $440,781 in restitution to the White Sox per Norgle's sentence.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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