Former California Angels third baseman Doug DeCinces, convicted of insider trading in May 2017, will not serve any time in prison, a judge ruled on Aug. 13. Instead, the judge sentenced DeCinces, who became a land developer and philanthropist after leaving professional baseball in 1988, to eight months of home confinement (he lives in Newport Beach) as well as two years of probation and a $10,000 fine.
“U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford said he was considering prison time for DeCinces Monday, but changed his mind after hearing from the retired infielder,” Laguna Niguel-Dana Point Patch reported on Aug. 13. “Instead, the judge handed down a one-day sentence, but DeCinces has credit for that amount of time served so will not have to do any more time behind bars.”
In 2012, DeCinces was charged with 42 counts of securities fraud and one count of money laundering. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that in 2009 DeCinces had earned more than $1.7 million by taking advantage of a non-public tip that pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories was about to take over Santa Ana-based medical device and eye care company Advanced Medical Optics.
A year earlier, DeCinces paid a $2.5 million fine to the SEC to settle their civil charge against him without admitting guilt.
DeCinces’ criminal trial took place in 2017, and lasted nearly two months. It ended with his conviction on 14 counts, each of which carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
On Aug. 13, Judge Guilford took considerable leniency on DeCinces by not ordering any additional prison time, according to Courthouse News:
Guilford said he had seriously considered sending the defendant to prison for a time. He said he wondered if DeCinces “should incur the humility of serving time in prison.”
He decided against prison time because he was impressed by DeCinces’ sincerity and by statements from two character witnesses, including former Angels star infielder Rod Carew.
“I want you to know it was close,” the judge added.
Though the decision may have been close, Judge Guilford heaped praise on DeCinces. “I’ve never seen a packet of letters like this,” Guilford said, according to Courthouse News. “No one has this kind of support from the community. Many of them are folks I know and admire. You’re a good man who made a mistake. I want you to put the mistake behind you.”
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.