SEATTLE — The wife of one Seattle Mariners player could be in big trouble, as law enforcement officers allege she stole about $180,000 from Mariners’ ace Felix Hernadez’s wife’s credit card during a four-month long shopping binge on the upscale Saks 5th Avenue website.
Maria Jacqueline Peguero, the wife of Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero, was charged earlier this month in federal court with three counts of wire fraud after Saks.com employees allegedly discovered she used Sandra Hernandez’s credit card more than 60 times on the online store. Sandra is the wife of Mariners pitcher Felix “King” Hernandez.
Sandra Hernandez is identified as “Victim 1” in court documents. Ahough she is not specifically named, the Seattle Times reported that “Victim 1” was indeed Hernandez’s wife.
According to court documents, Peguero was tasked by Sandra to help her order clothes and goods online because Sandra was not fluent in English and needed help navigating online retail sites. Peguero allegedly helped Hernandez buy a few things online in early 2012, however, they were smaller purchases and were not from Saks.com.
It was sometime after Peguero helped the ace’s wife buy things online that she used the credit card for herself, investigators say, quickly racking up a big bill. The bill was so sizable that Saks.com administrators began to grow suspicious of Peguero after they noticed 60 purchases — ranging from a few hundred to more than $11,000 — were made with a separate billing address and shipping address. According to investigators, the goods were shipped to Peguero’s home in Fife, but the bill was slated to arrive at Hernandez’s home in Bellevue. Also, the email address used in the purchases, email@example.com, was registered to Peguero, but the credit card was registered to Hernandez’s wife.
Investigators also discovered photos on Peguero’s twitter account that showed the expensive merchandise. Sandra was nowhere to be seen in the pictures.
Sandra Hernandez told investigators that Perguero never had permission to buy anything from Saks.com. She also said she had received an ambiguous text from Peguero in 2012, asking for her address. Peguero even allegedly asked the ace’s wife if she ever reviewed her debit card purchases and credit card receipts.
On Oct. 1, investigators went to Peguero’s home in Fife, where she lives with her husband Carlos. The suspect denied making any unauthorized purchases online. She told investigators that her brother works for Saks, and that is how she was getting the expensive handbags and nice clothes seen lying around her house.
Carlos Peguero denied knowing his wife was making any unauthorized purchases.
Peguero was not arrested, but is slated to appear in court on her own recognizance next month.
The turmoil comes on the heels of a disappointing season for the Seattle Mariners and Carlos, who batted .260 with 19 home runs in 118 games for the Tacoma Rainiers. Maria Peguero is also the youngest daughter of Pedro Borbon — the late ball player who was a well-known relief pitcher for the Cincinatti Reds.