New York Mets Clubhouse manager, Charles Samuels, has pleaded guilty to tax fraud and illegal possession of $2.3 million in autographed team jerseys, bats, and other collectibles. Samuels worked for the Mets for 24 years before getting terminated in the wake of these tax controversies. The storage unit in which Samuels kept $500,000 worth of Mets memorabilia contained 4,952 jerseys, 24 baseball bats, and 10 equipment bags. One jersey was even signed by country singer, Garth Brooks in 2000. Authorities seized all the stolen property from Samuels.
By pleading guilty to tax fraud and possession of stolen property, Samuels avoided jail time, however he must serve five years of probation. In addition, he is banned for life from Citi Field (Mets home field) and the spring-training complex in Port St. Lucie. Even though none of the memorabilia was sold, Samuels still had over $2 million in assets that he should have reported in order to avoid tax fraud. Furthermore, he also failed to pay taxes on approximately $204,000 on tips he received from Mets players. As part of the plea deal, Samuels must pay the Mets $25,000 in restitution and the city and state #34,000 in back taxes.
Moral of the story? When given a dream job, do not take it for granted by capitalizing on illegal opportunities. Charles Samuels was put in a position where one’s financial and legal responsibilities must be upheld everyday, yet he failed spectacularly in both duties.