2012-04-20 / Top Stories

Mets' Clubhouse Manager Sentenced

Arverne Resident Gets 5 Years Probation
By Howard Schwach

Charlie Samuels, (left), being arrested last year. Charlie Samuels, (left), being arrested last year. Arverne resident Charles Samuels, the former longtime clubhouse manager for the New York Mets, has been sentenced for criminally possessing almost $2.3 million worth of on-field and gameused Mets memorabilia and collectibles – including autographed jerseys, bats and baseballs – belonging to the Mets organization and for evading City and State taxes.

Samuels was formally sentenced on Monday to five years’ probation by Queens Supreme Court Justice Fernando M. Camacho. The defendant pleaded guilty last February to seconddegree criminal possession of stolen property and third- and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud in satisfaction of the charges against him.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said, “The defendant betrayed the trust of his longtime employers, the New York Mets. He had a baseball fan’s dream job, but allowed greed to get in his way. He’s now lost his job and his reputation.”

Samuels, 55, began his career with the New York Mets in 1976, was made equipment manager in 1983 and subsequently became the clubhouse manager and traveling secretary. He was terminated by the Mets organization in November 2010.

As part of his guilty plea, Samuels agreed to pay restitution of $20,843 to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, $14,738.35 to the New York City Department of Finance, $24,955 to Sterling Mets, L.P. (which does business as the New York Mets) and to pay $15,000 in forfeiture to the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.

Additionally, Samuels is banned from Citi Field in Queens, the New York Mets’ minor league park in Brooklyn, and their spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Brown added that, according to the guilty plea, Samuels knowingly possessed hundreds of autographed and unsigned New York Mets jerseys, baseballs, bats, helmets and other equipment between September 1, 2007, and November 13, 2007, that had been stolen from Sterling Mets, L.P., and which had an appraised value of $2,282,265. The Mets property was recovered in November 2010 from the basement of a Madison, Connecticut house belonging to a friend of Samuels. In pleading guilty, Samuels stated under oath that he did not possess any other property belonging to Sterling Mets, L.P.

Samuels also pleaded guilty to under reporting the true amount of his income on his 2009 New York State tax returns in order to avoid a tax liability for the year. The indictment specifically charged that Samuels under reported the true amount of the dues and gratuities that he had received from ball players and others.

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