Marlins reliever Edward Mujica, a close friend of Oviedo's, explained the motivation for pitchers like Oviedo who come from the Caribbean. "At 17 years old, you maybe lose $100,000 or $150,000 when you sign (compared to a 16-year-old with the same skills). And if you're like 18, you might sign for $5,000 and maybe they give you an opportunity."
It’s been reported that the actual Nunez was Oviedo’s best friend growing up. The pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez had his 2011 season end in an abrupt manner last September after officials discovered he’d been playing under a fake name since he turned professional in 2000. Now, 9 months later, he's back in the US after clearing up his identity issues with the US and Dominican Governments. Oviedo is set to begin serving an eight-week suspension from Major League Baseball for age and identity fraud. Initially Oviedo feared his major league career may be over, but is now relieved to be back in the bigs and playing under his father’s name.
Major League Baseball, the players' association and several lawyers were involved in clearing up the situation. Oviedo's status was still in doubt when the Marlins began the season. While this instance of ID theft was victimless, most of the time that is not the case. The simple fact that someone could successfully pretend to be another in the US in this day and age, shows just how effective a good stolen identity can be, and how wary those of us without big league arms need to be in keeping our personal information safe.
"Welcome to the Major Leagues…of Identity Theft" was written by Matt Davis. Matt is a Victim Advisor at the Identity Theft Resource Center. We welcome you to post/reprint the above article, as written, giving credit to and linking back to www.idtheftcenter.blogspot.com.