Former agent Juan Carlos Nunez has reportedly filed a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court alleging that his ex-employer, ACES, instructed him to recruit or retain clients by doing "whatever it took" - including secretly paying players under the table or providing them with performance-enhancing drugs, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports.
According to the reported lawsuit, Nunez's orders came directly from ACES owners Sam and Seth Levinson, who remain in charge of the agency. ACES - located in Brooklyn, N.Y. - represents MLB players such as Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, and David Wright.
Nunez pleaded guilty in Miami federal court to conspiracy to distribute testosterone in 2014, and was embroiled in the Biogenesis scandal by steering clients to Anthony Bosch's clinic from late 2010 until June 2012. Nunez was banned by Major League Baseball as a result, convicted on felony charges, and spent time in federal prison.
The Levinson brothers were exonerated by the MLBPA for their role in the Biogenesis scandal on the basis that no evidence of misconduct was found.
"While we have not yet seen the complaint, Juan Nunez is a convicted felon who spent time in federal prison," the Levinson brothers said in a statement to MLB Trade Rumors on Monday night. "He betrayed his family, the players who trusted him and the very people who gave him an opportunity at a great life and career. He was terminated almost six years ago, in August of 2012, after his betrayals came to light.
"ACES has been thoroughly investigated, and at every turn, has fully cooperated. The MLBPA exonerated us, all of the players cleared us, and it was conclusively proven that we did absolutely nothing wrong. ... We will take the fight to Mr. Nunez for any meritless and defamatory claims, and we will seek all available remedies and damages."
Nunez is seeking $2 million in unpaid commissions and $500,000 in fees and expenses. According to the lawsuit, the Levinsons told Nunez they would "take care of" him for being the fall guy in a scheme that involved the entire agency.
ACES hired Nunez as an independent contractor in 2006 for the purposes of identifying and recruiting potential MLB clients, with an emphasis in Latin America. Nunez would receive a finder's fee if he successfully recruited a player to the agency.
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