Former Padres Pitcher Sentenced
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Former San Diego Padres pitcher John D’Acquisto was sentenced to four years and seven months in federal prison Thursday for defrauding investors of about $7 million.
D’Acquisto, already serving time for a 1996 conviction in New York, pleaded guilty on March 1 to wire fraud and money laundering in a scheme in which he persuaded investors to put millions of dollars into business entities he controlled.
He falsely represented to those investors that several hundred million dollars was put in programs that could provide returns of 5 to 7 1/2 percent per week.
He also generated false investment transaction reports, which claimed that some investments had grown by millions of dollars. In fact, little or no funds had been invested on their behalf.
D’Acquisto used the money to buy three race horses, a $70,000 Porsche, a contingent interest in a Mexican minor league baseball team and vacant land in Mexico, prosecutors said.
The investment scheme was not D’Acquisto’s first. In 1996, he was sentenced to five years, three months in prison after he was convicted of attempting to open a trading account at Prudential Securities Inc. in New York by presenting a forged $200 million certificate of deposit. He was later indicted on the California charges.
D’Acquisto talked big-money transactions for years, and once said he could write a check to buy the Padres.
He pitched for the Padres from 1977 to 1980, and also played for San Francisco, St. Louis and Oakland. He finished with a career record of 34-51, with his best season being a 12-14 mark with San Francisco in 1974.