David Wilder, Former White Sox Executive, Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Charge
"I understand what I have done," Wilder told the court, as the Chicago Tribune reports.
Wilder, who had risen through the ranks to become senior director of player personnel for the White Sox, was indicted in November along with two former scouts, Jorge Oquendo Rivera and Victor Mateo.
The indictment alleged the White Sox officials inflated the size of the signing bonuses for certain prospects and pocketed the difference, which amounted to about $400,000 from December 2004 through February 2008. The White Sox fired Wilder in May 2008 after MLB launched an investigation into allegations of bonus skimming in the Dominican Republic.
Wilder, 50, was once seen as something of a rising star among front office executives, interviewing for several general manager openings during his time with the White Sox. He joined general manager Kenny Williams' staff following the 2003 season as a special assistant but quickly assumed oversight of the White Sox player development and Latin American operations.
Before going to Chicago, Wilder also served in a variety of scouting and front office roles for the Brewers (2000-03), Cubs (1996-99) and Braves (1991-95). He spent seven seasons as a minor league player before retiring and spending a year as a minor league coach and scout for the A's in 1990.
Rivera scouted Latin America for the White Sox from 2004-07 and Mateo did the same in the Dominican Republic from 2006-08. Those two still face charges in connection with the fraud indictment.