Orioles GM Mike Elias Reportedly Under Investigation for Pension Fraud (UPDATE)

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Orioles GM Mike Elias Reportedly Under Investigation for Pension Fraud (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

Is there anyone connected to the Astros and Jeff Luhnow that didn’t cheat or do crimes? 

We know all about former Astros GM Luhnow and the cheating scandal, and then there’s the Cardinals and Chris Correa with the hacking scandal (tied to Luhnow’s departure from the Cardinals and his claims that the Astros were hacking), and now there’s former Astros Assistant GM Mike Elias under investigation for pension fraud involving an employee he brought with him from the Astros.

Elias, whose time with the Astros overlapped with the cheating period, reportedly gave pension benefits to minor league pitching instructor Chris Holt, who is apparently ineligible for those benefits. Holt was one of just two former Astros employees Elias brought with him to the Orioles.

From the NY Daily News:

If Elias knew the pension qualification rules — that you have to be a fulltime, uniformed coach, which Holt never was — and if he then went ahead anyway and deliberately tried to slip him through over other qualified Oriole coaches, according to a long time baseball lawyer with experience in the MLB pension plan, that could very well constitute pension fraud. “Assuming this is found to be fact,” the lawyer said, “we’re talking about people being engaged in pension fraud here, something that affects not just the coaches who potentially got screwed but all the baseball retirees. There is certainly going to have to be retribution and, I would think, significant discipline.”

Among those who got “screwed” was first base coach Anthony Sanders, the only Black coach on the Orioles’ staff.

It’s going to be up to the six-member MLB pension board to determine Elias’ culpability.

Facts will be found, and culpability determined, yes, but as an outsider, it’s hard not to look at this stuff and just wonder if the whole Astros operation has been so dirty that cheating and lying and defrauding was part of the system. We’ll see, I guess, and we’ll also see what discipline comes for Elias and/or Holt.

UPDATE: MLB is looking to squash this one quickly:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.