When Tony Bosch -- the steroid-dealing founder of Miami clinic Biogenesis -- agreed last summer to help Major League Baseball go after his biggest clients, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, he demanded some favors in return -- namely, that MLB wouldn't go after his family and that the league would pay for his attorneys and bodyguards. That deal didn't come cheap. The league eventually paid more than a million dollars combined to Bosch's lawyer, Susy Ribero-Ayala, and to Bosch's security team.
But was all that money actually used to pay for legal fees and bodyguards? Not according to new filings in federal court, which claim that Bosch in fact used MLB's cash as a "slush fund" for luxury hotels and dinners, visits to strip clubs, and his girlfriend's expenses.
An MLB spokesman says if Bosch played fast and loose with their money, the league didn't know about it. "We have no knowledge of any improper usage of payments we made to Bosch's security firm," Pat Courtney tells New Times.
Ribero-Ayala didn't return a message seeking comment on the claims.
The new allegations come in the criminal case against one of Bosch's associates, former University of Miami pitching coach Lazer Collazo, who is charged with recruiting young athletes to Biogenesis.
Collazo's attorney, Frank Quintero, has spent months demanding documentation from Ribero-Ayala of all the money MLB paid to Bosch and how it was spent; he argues the details are important in his case, because they get to Bosch's credibility as a witness.
In January, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga agreed. While quashing most of Quintero's demands, she did grant his request for documents pertaining to payments to Bosch from the league.
Although Bosch's attorney did hand over some documents on January 30th, Quintero says, they were so incomplete and heavily redacted that they're useless. "(She) clearly and unequivocally violated this Court's January 21st order by selectively choosing which documents to produce, (and) excessively and unjustifiably redacting the documents produced," he writes.
Quintero says there's no doubt why she did so. The full financial records, he says, implicate Bosch in wildly misspending the cash that MLB allocated for his legal funds and personal safety.
A stash of $1.7 million given to Raj Badree, Bosch's personal bodyguard, was used as a "slush fund," he alleges. Badree and Ribero-Ayala would routinely submit a "vague invoice" to MLB for "hotel expenses" or "investigative services," Quintero says. In fact, though, the money went to pay for a lavish lifestyle for the steroid dealer.
"The billing party would use said moneys for the benefit of Bosch, such as paying Bosch's child support payments, extravagant hotel stays totaling over tens of thousands of dollars, meals at fancy restaurants, tabs at night clubs, and expenses at strip clubs," Quintero writes.
Badree would routinely transfer money to "Bosch's girlfriend, who was allegedly pregnant with Mr. Bosch's child, (or) to an ex-business partner of Bosch's," he writes.
The records Ribero-Ayala handed over clearly obfuscate such payments, Quintero writes, including multiple sizable checks paid to cover Bosch's hefty child support payments.
Quintero asks Judge Altonaga to hold Ribero-Ayala and her husband, Julio Ayala, in contempt of court over the failure to comply with her order.
The new allegations come at a bad time for Bosch, who is set to go before another judge -- U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles -- on Tuesday to be sentenced as the mastermind of the Biogenesis ring.
Bosch has pled guilty to charges of illegally distributing testosterone; he's been expected to nab a reduced sentence after cooperating with prosecutors, but the new allegations could hurt his argument that he's reformed and repentant.
Ribero-Ayala sent the following statement to New Times: