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Major League Baseball has secured a cooperative agreement with Tony Bosch, the founder of the Miami-area clinic at the center of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, but the attorney for another key potential witness on Friday accused baseball of "bullying" his client.
|Tony Bosch, right, flat-out denied any knowledge of suspected PED distribution at Biogenesis, his closed South Florida clinic, in an interview with ESPN's Pedro Gomez in April.|
The attorney for Carlos Acevedo, who along with Bosch and three others was named in a civil suit brought by MLB in March, told "Outside the Lines" he has filed a motion to have his client dismissed from the suit. Martin Beguiristain expects his motion to be heard Wednesday in a Miami-Dade County circuit court.
Acevedo, a former partner with Bosch in a wellness clinic, could presumably be helpful to baseball in supporting and corroborating information presented by Bosch, who even MLB officials acknowledge has credibility issues. The two worked together at Biokem, located in the same Coral Gables office that eventually would house Bosch's Biogenesis of America clinic.
Beguiristain said he has spoken with MLB officials within the past week, but they never have met with Acevedo. Nor have they presented an offer similar to what Bosch received for his cooperation.
Major League Baseball, however, is known to be attempting to get other former Bosch associates to cooperate.
"They haven't sat down with me, much less got anywhere near my client, other than sending investigators to his house to bang on the door," Beguiristain said. "And threatening him and intimidating him. It is like they think they are the federal government. No, they went about this all wrong in regards to my client.
"What they have done is made a very strong enemy. Carlos Acevedo is a very strong enemy. He is a broke, broke, broke little nothing individual. But boy, what they have done is extremely impolite. He doesn't have any money. He doesn't have anything to lose. It is not good to bully somebody that has nothing."
After splitting with Bosch, Acevedo moved just a few miles away and opened Revive Miami. The wellness facility closed abruptly in December, about a month prior to Bosch shutting down Biogenesis and before the scandal became national news.
Acevedo, 34, was identified on the Revive Miami website as the clinic founder and director for hormone therapy treatment. His name also later showed up in Biogenesis records obtained by "Outside the Lines'' as a patient who was prescribed testosterone, although the doctor whose name is on the prescription said his signature was forged.
In recent weeks, Bosch's attorneys hammered out a deal with MLB that sought assurance that officials would help mitigate his criminal exposure in return for his cooperation. Officials promised to do what they could although they have no power to stop a federal criminal investigation. In addition, sources said Major League Baseball promised to drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch, indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation and provide personal security for him.
On Friday, Bosch's attorneys met with MLB attorneys in Miami for several hours, turning over numerous records provided by Bosch. A source said MLB officials were pleased by the materials. Bosch did not attend the meeting but is expected to meet with officials sometime in the next few days.
Beguiristain said MLB filed the March civil suit, which accuses the defendants of soliciting or inducing players to purchase PEDs, for the sole purpose of having subpoena power to try to squeeze Bosch, 49, and associates into giving up documents and talking. Other attorneys in the case have made similar charges, and baseball dropped Paulo Da Silveira from the suit in April after his attorneys successfully argued MLB investigators had mistaken him for someone else.
"I got to hand it to the attorneys for Major League Baseball," he said. "They really did a good job and they got their guy -- Bosch. They got him. They got everything they need. They got it all."
Although his client potentially could buttress and support information promised by Bosch, Beguiristain portrayed baseball as going out of its way to antagonize his client and other defendants in the March civil suit. He anticipates successfully arguing for his client's dismissal from the case on the grounds it's frivolous and that baseball committed an error by not naming the MLB Players Association. He also cautioned that if it gets to a hearing Wednesday, Acevedo likely will never cooperate with Major League Baseball.
"I understand that they're saying they can't fight a fair fight with the people they are saying violated the contract [the players who are represented by the players' association]," Beguiristain said. "They have to be bullies and go bully the little people. Every named defendant has been bullied by Major League Baseball. Investigators showing up at their houses, what is wrong with these people? Go to the guy's job. Why are you coming and banging on the guy's door? Who do they think they are?
And if what they are saying is true and Anthony Bosch is going to say he did this, that and the other, then Anthony Bosch is going to be opening himself up to all kinds of criminal liability. Let's see if Anthony Bosch gets charged. If he doesn't, then Major League Baseball does have all that.” -- Martin Beguiristain, attorney for Carlos Acevedo
"Then they're turning around and if what is said in the news is true -- they're basically claiming, 'Well, we'll put in a good word with the government.' What are they saying, 'Work with us and you won't get indicted?' That is arrogant."
Beguiristain wonders whether baseball itself has the juice to limit Bosch's criminal liability. Further, he wonders whether Bosch has the credibility to stand up to scrutiny.
"They say they have everything they need," he said, referencing Major League Baseball. "Bosch's credibility, I don't know. If it's true he is collecting money. If it is true he has bodyguards. If it is true he is running around spending money all over the place. If it is true they are taking care of him. If it is true they are putting in a good word with the feds. Yeah, I think his credibility isn't great. It is worthless.
"And if what they are saying is true and Anthony Bosch is going to say he did this, that and the other, then Anthony Bosch is going to be opening himself up to all kinds of criminal liability. Let's see if Anthony Bosch gets charged. If he doesn't, then Major League Baseball does have all that."