SEATTLE -- Maria Peguero, the wife of Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero, has been charged with three counts of wire fraud after allegedly making $180,000 in unauthorized purchases with a debit card belonging to the wife of teammate Felix Hernandez, according to the Seattle Times and Associated Press reports.
Federal court documents filed in the case charge that Peguero's wife made 60 purchases in 2012 from Saks Fifth Avenue using a card belonging to another person in the Mariners organization. The Times cited an anonymous source familiar with the investigation as saying the card belonged to Sandra Hernandez, the wife of the Mariners star pitcher.
Tim Hevly, the Mariners' director of baseball information, said Saturday the team was aware of the situation, but was not able to comment further on an ongoing investigation and court matter.
Carlos Peguero has played 65 games with the Mariners over the past three years, though just two of those were this past season when he spent most of his time with Triple-A Tacoma. The 26-year-old Dominican native is on the Mariners' 40-man roster, but he is out of Minor League options. That means he will either need to make the 25-man roster coming out of Spring Training or be exposed to waivers.
Maria Peguero, 22, was charged in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Wash., with three counts of wire fraud, which carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison. She is currently free on bond.
According to the court documents, Maria Peguero spent several days with Sandra Hernandez at the Hernandez's Bellevue, Wash., home in May 2012 while Felix Hernandez was on a road trip, during which time the two shopped online together.
Authorities say Peguero then began having items shipped to her own apartment in Fife, Wash., for a 3 1/2-month period until representatives from Saks investigated the purchases because the billing address didn't match the shipping address.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.