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Ex-Orioles Player Doug DeCinces Gets Time Served for Insider Trading

Sarah Favot

(Bloomberg) -- Former Baltimore Orioles third baseman Doug DeCinces was spared a prison term after being found guilty of insider trading two years ago for making more than $1 million off a tip from a friend who was the chief executive officer of Advanced Medical Optics.

A federal judge in Santa Ana, California, sentenced the ex-Major League Baseball player Monday to time served after agreeing with prosecutors that a day spent in incarceration was enough for DeCinces, who cooperated with a U.S. investigation. He was ordered to serve eight months in home detention and two years of court-supervised probation.

In a federal courtroom filled with family and friends, DeCinces told U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford he accepted responsibility for his actions and asked for leniency.

“I know what I did at that moment was wrong,” he said. “I beat myself up more times than you can imagine.”

DeCinces wiped his eyes as baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew spoke on his behalf.

“I know all the things that he has done in the community to help the less fortunate,” Carew said. “I’m happy to call him a friend, a true friend.”

“I’m here because this man has done so much more for other people,” he added.

The judge said he was prepared to give DeCinces prison time heading into the hearing, but DeCinces’ sincerity when he spoke and the many letters of support changed his mind.

“You’re a good man who made a mistake,” Guilford said. “I want you to put the mistake behind you.”

James Mazzo, ex-CEO of Santa Ana-based Advanced Medical Optics, had faced charges of providing non-public information about the eye-care products company’s pending merger with pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories to DeCinces, his neighbor in Laguna Beach, California.

But after two juries deadlocked over the charges against Mazzo -- even after DeCinces testified against him in the second trial -- the government dropped the case before a third trial. Mazzo agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle civil insider trading claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Orange County Register newspaper reported in December.

DeCinces played Major League Baseball from 1973 to 1987. Besides the Orioles, he played for the California Angels and St. Louis Cardinals, hitting 237 career home runs.

Prosecutors alleged he liquidated his stock portfolio at a loss to buy Advanced Medical Optics shares and passed the information on to his friends to make up for prior investment advice that had gone bad.

The case is U.S. v. Mazzo, 12-cr-00269, U.S. District, Central District of California (Santa Ana).

(Updates with DeCinces asking for leniency in third paragraph.)

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