Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels under investigation for allegedly betting on baseball and theft

Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels is under investigation by the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney's office for allegedly betting on baseball and other sports as part of an organized gambling ring, providing inside information and tips for friends who also placed bets on games and for using his Mets accounts to cover gambling debts, according to law-enforcement sources close to the probe into the longtime Mets employee.
The Mets suspended the 53-year-old Samuels last week after an internal probe that began in midseason revealed that he may have written checks on Mets accounts and cashed them out to cover his own bills and later repaid the "loans" in two to three weeks, the sources said. It is unclear how much of the "loans" were never paid back. Samuels is also under scrutiny for possibly skimming money on the hotel rooms he ordered for players as the team's traveling secretary and for Mets property that went missing from the clubhouse, including hundreds of bats, balls and jerseys.
Law enforcement sources confirmed the investigation to the Daily News after the Mets said in statement that they had suspended Samuels on Oct. 27. The office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is heading up the investigation.
Samuels, who has not been arrested, is believed to have told Major League Baseball that he bet on baseball games, a strict violation of baseball rules. Samuels, the Mets' clubhouse manager for 27 seasons, was described by a source as a "spider who sat in the middle of a money web," a man who earned about $80,000 a year from the Mets but whose tax returns showed about $600,000 to $700,000 in income. He has homes in Huntington, L.I., and Port St. Lucie.
MLB declined to comment on whether its office is investigating Samuels. However, one source told The News that baseball security officials are conducting their own probe and have contacted people close to Samuels.
In 2005, the Mets were involved in another gambling scandal when head groundskeeper Dominic Valila was one of 36 people charged by the Queens DA's office with participating in a $360 million gambling ring that had ties to the Bonanno crime family.
Valila allegedly accepted bets on Mets games and operated inside Shea Stadium. He pleaded guilty to promoting gambling in the first degree and was fired by the club.
Samuels hired Kirk Radomski, the convicted steroids dealer who acknowledged providing PEDs to many major leaguers in baseball's Mitchell Report, to be a Mets clubhouse attendant in 1987. Radomski worked for the Mets until 1994. A source told The News that Samuels' suspension was not tied to any performance-enhancing drug distribution or usage.



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