Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Mets ex-clubhouse aide pleads guilty
By Adam Rubin
Charlie Samuels has reached a plea with the Queens District Attorney that allows the former New York Mets clubhouse manager to avoid jail time.
Queens DA Richard A. Brown announced Tuesday that Samuels, 55, pleaded guilty to possessing nearly $2.3 million in Mets merchandise and collectables without the organization's consent and to avoiding state and local taxes.
"The defendant was a once trusted employee of the New York Mets who, by his guilty plea, admits that he took advantage of his position and employers to amass a sports memorabilia collection worth millions of dollars," Brown said in a statement. "On top of that he failed to pay city and state taxes on tens of thousands of dollars that he had received while employed by the New York Mets. In sum, the defendant had a dream job that any Mets fan would die for -- and he blew it. He allowed his greed to get the better of him."
Samuels was first hired by the Mets in 1976 and was promoted to equipment manager in 1983. He was fired by the Mets in November 2010.
Samuels entered the guilty plea to second-degree criminal possession of stolen property and third- and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron on Tuesday.
He agreed to pay $24,955 to the Mets, $20,843 to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, $14,738.35 to the New York City Department of Finance and $15,000 to the Queens County District Attorney's Office. Samuels also was banned from Citi Field and Mets ballparks in Brooklyn and Port St. Lucie, Fla.
He will be formally sentenced to five years' probation on April 16.
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.