Ted Lilly, ex-Major League Baseball player, accepts plea deal in California insurance fraud

Former Major League Baseball player Ted Lilly accepted a plea deal in a California insurance fraud case that will allow him to avoid jail time, according to a newspaper report.

Lilly did not appear in court Thursday, but his attorney entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor count of insurance fraud connected to his damaged recreational vehicle.

Lilly will pay a $2,500 fine, serve two years of informal probation and perform 250 hours of local community service, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1C50wiF ).

An investigation by the state Department of Insurance found a crash damaged Lilly's RV, and the two-time All-Star pitcher sought an estimate from a body shop on March 19, 2014. The estimate was $4,600.

Lilly then bought insurance from Progressive on March 24 and claimed the damage on March 28, said Nancy Kincaid, a spokeswoman for the agency.

"What a lot of people may not realize is that body shops often enter estimates into a database that insurance companies can check to verify claims," Kincaid told the Tribune last month. "They can see what the damage was and whether a false claim may have been filed."

Lilly had faced three felony charges of filing a false insurance claim, filing a false statement in connection with an insurance claim, and concealing a material fact in connection with an insurance claim. He faced a maximum penalty of five years in jail if he was convicted on all charges, the newspaper reported.

In exchange for his plea to the reduced charge, prosecutors asked the court to dismiss the latter two charges.

Following the plea, Lilly's attorney, James Murphy, read a statement from Lilly to the court.

"I would like to apologize for the terrible error in judgment which has led to the present situation," Lilly's statement read. "My actions do not reflect the way I choose to live. I am very much determined to earn back a reputation of trust and transparency."

The 39-year-old left-hander pitched for Montreal, Oakland, Toronto, the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and the Dodgers.

He retired in 2013 after 15 seasons because of problems with his shoulder and back.


Information from: The Tribune, http://www.sanluisobispo.com