Stolen! NY Yankee Chapman Locked in Embezzlement Battle Amid Rehab
At surface level, the month of May 2022 was already a rough one for New York Yankees' flame-throwing closer, Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman got off to a hot start this season, finishing the month of April with an ERA of 0.00 in 14 innings of work. He, much like the New York Yankees, was on fire. Then, when April turned to May, Chapman began to slip. He racked up a 9.53 ERA in seven appearances in the season's second month, before ultimately heading to the Injured List.
While all of this was unfolding on the mound, Chapman's personal life hit a snag, as well, one that landed he and the other party in court.
NY Yankees' Closer Chapman Demanding Trial After Embezzlement Accusations
According to multiple reports, including a story from The Miami New Times, New York Yankees' closer Aroldis Chapman is pushing for a trial in Florida in order to recoup money he claims was stolen from him. The total amount that was embezzled from him, according to Chapman and his representation, is $3 million.
As alleged by Chapman, the money was stolen from him by Benito Zavala, Jr., who had been working for the Coral Springs-based agency Pro Management Resources. Chapman had used PMR to help manage his money for roughly a decade, according to the report. It was in recent years, however, that Zavala Jr. and associates had been embezzling money from Chapman's accounts.
Chapman's motion states that Zavala had a romantic relationship with a woman, Chandler Costa, whom he met at a nightclub, and Costa was seen living in a mansion and driving an expensive car that was bought with his money. Costa and her brother were also recipients of money via Western Union bank accounts. The transactions added up from 2016 to 2020, totaling $3 million in embezzled funds.
Zavala is being held in default by a Fort Lauderdale judge after failing to participate in the court proceedings back in October. Costa, meanwhile, is scheduled for a deposition on July 14th. According to the Michael B. Cohen Law Firm in Florida, charges for embezzlement can be as severe as "a first degree felony which can carry a prison term of up to thirty years and a fine of up to $10,000 or both."
The Latest News on Aroldis Chapman *on the Baseball Diamond*
While this drama continues to unfold, news on Chapman on the baseball diamond continues to improve. FanNation on SI.com reported that Chapman had begun to throw off of the mound at Yankee Stadium, doing so yesterday before the team's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Chapman hit the IL with left Achilles tendinitis, so fans were excited to see him running from the mound to first base as part of pitcher's fielding practice.
The next step, according to Chapman, is throwing another bullpen session, as well as a live batting practice session. Chapman was not sure, however, if a rehab assignment would be necessary as part of his recovery.
When he does return, however, he's going to have a bit of competition for his closer role. Fellow relief pitcher Clay Holmes has been an absolute revelation for the team, and currently holds the longest scoreless innings streak in baseball. This reality has fans of Chapman wondering, when he returns to the mound, what role will he be given?