LOS ANGELES—A former minor league pitcher from Orange County and his business partner pleaded guilty Monday to helping run an illegal major league sports betting operation.
Ex-baseball player Wayne Nix, 45, of Newport Coast, and Edon Kagasoff, 44, of Lake Forest, both entered their pleas to a federal charge of conspiring to run an illegal gambling operation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Nix is scheduled to be sentenced July 20 and Kagasoff will be sentenced one week later at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.
Nix—who played for Oakland Athletics farm teams—also admitted to failing to report $1.4 million in income in 2017 and 2018, according to his plea agreement.
Prosecutors said Nix began operating a bookmaking business about 20 years ago. Through his sports contacts, he attracted clients including current and former professional athletes, and he employed three former Major League Baseball players to assist with the business, federal prosecutors said.
Kagasoff joined Nix in the gambling operation around 2014, and they used a website and call center to create accounts for bettors. Nix and his associates paid winning bets and retained nearly all of the money collected from bettors, prosecutors said.
According to Nix’s plea agreement, he received payments for gambling losses from a professional football player, a Major League Baseball coach, and a baseball analyst.
The plea agreement also discusses a bettor who wagered $1 million a year with Nix’s operation, a $5 million bet on the 2019 Super Bowl, and a sports broadcaster who told Nix he was going to refinance his home to pay off gambling debts.
The owner of the online gambling business and website pleaded guilty last month and admitted the business was illegal under California law because it involved at least five people, operated for at least six years, and often had gross revenue of well over $2,000 on a single day.