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Ex-MLB star Doug DeCinces faces decades in prison after insider-trading conviction

(Gail Burton/Associated Press)

Doug DeCinces, who played 15 MLB seasons for the Orioles, Angels and Cardinals and finished third in the 1982 American League MVP voting, was convicted of 14 federal insider-trading charges Friday in California for using nonpublic information from a CEO friend and neighbor to net $1.3 million. Prosecutors said he then passed that information on to other friends and family members.

According to the Orange County Register, each charge potentially carries a 20-year prison sentence. The jury, which deliberated for four days, was deadlocked on 18 other charges and the judge declared a mistrial for those counts. DeCinces’s attorney said he would ask for a new trial.

“Obviously, this is a disappointment for everybody involved,” Ken Julian said. “This is not the end.”

The case revolved around the 2009 merger of Advanced Medical Optics, a struggling company that made equipment for LASIK surgery and contact lens-related products, and a larger company called Abbott Laboratories. Prosecutors say DeCinces received inside information about the merger from James Mazzo, a Laguna Beach neighbor who owned Advanced Medical Optics, and that he bought about 90,000 shares of the company. Abbott Laboratories then purchased Advanced Medical Optics for four times its stock price, netting DeCinces $1.3 million and the same amount for the 14 other people he tipped off. One of those people, a DeCinces friend named David Parker, was convicted of three felonies on Friday.

“Even though everyone else was losing, they won,” assistant U.S. attorney Jennifer L. Waier said in closing arguments Tuesday, per the Associated Press. “They won big. They won because they knew tomorrow’s news today.”

DeCinces’s attorneys said the government failed to prove that Mazzo actually passed information to DeCinces and that he instead bought Advanced Medical Optics stock on the advice of another friend.

Sentencing has not been set, and DeCinces, 66, will remain free until then. He previously had settled a federal lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the matter for $2.5 million, a case that also ensnared Eddie Murray, DeCinces’s former Orioles teammate. SEC officials said the Hall of Famer was one of the people to receive inside information from DeCinces, and Murray paid the SEC $358,151 to settle the case.