The New York Post reports that one-time Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels avoided prison time today by pleading guilty to two counts of criminal possession of stolen property and two counts of tax fraud.
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.
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.
Samuels could have been sentenced to anywhere between 8 and 25 years in prison, and could still face prison if he violates his probation or fails to repay the $50 thousand in fines.
He originally began working for the Mets in 1976. until he was fired after a federal investigation discovered 507 jerseys, 828 bats, 304 hats, 22 batting helmets and 10 equipment bags that were hidden in a friend’s basement.