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Peter Perkowski Discusses Smuggling Indictment Against MLB Agent

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Perkowski Legal founder Peter Perkowski is quoted in an article regarding the smuggling indictment against MLB agent Bart Hernandez. His commentary appeared in the February 24, 2016, edition of the online legal news site LawNewz.com.

A grand jury indicted Mr. Hernandez in mid-February on two counts of smuggling an alien into the United States. The indictment refers to a Cuban national identified as “L.M.T.”, believed to be Leonys Martin Tapanes, the Seattle Mariner who Hernandez once represented. Though the indictment does not specify the factual allegations underlying the charges, Martin’s civil lawsuit alleges that Hernandez detained him at gunpoint and held him and his family hostage pending the “ransom” of a lucrative MLB contract.

“Whether the U.S. Attorney would’ve felt compelled to file charges under less outrageous circumstances—for example, had [Hernandez] merely helped Martin defect with the hope of representing him for a MLB contract—is unknown,” said Mr. Perkowski. “But in that hypothetical, the conduct isn’t any less culpable under the statutes charged. Here, though, the underlying facts paint a very bad picture for Hernandez.”

Mr. Perkowski also discussed potential defenses. The charges require that Hernandez knew, or acted in reckless disregard of the fact, that the entry into the U.S. by the alien he assisted would have been in violation of the law or that such alien did not have prior authorization to enter. Mr Perkowski explained “if there is a bona fide misunderstanding about those facts, then Hernandez can assert that defense. This also presumes that the unnamed aliens that Hernandez assisted meet the definition of ‘alien.’ If they do not, then Hernandez can assert that as a defense as well.”

The LawNewz article is available here.

Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Perkowski focuses his practice on sports, entertainment, and intellectual property matters and assists businesses and individuals in the cultural communities with worker-based immigration needs.