A former Major League Baseball player and Edna Valley resident charged with felony insurance fraud accepted a plea deal Thursday that will keep him out of jail.
Ted Lilly, 39, a left-handed pitcher who played with several teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers, did not appear in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Thursday, but his attorney entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor count of insurance fraud.
As a result of his plea Lilly will pay a $2,500 fine, serve two years of informal probation and perform 250 hours of local community service, which he must complete within 12 months.
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.
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In exchange for his plea to a reduced charge of misdemeanor insurance fraud, Deputy District Attorney Linda Dunn motioned the court to dismiss the latter two charges in the interest of justice.
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.”
He was charged by the California Department of Insurance for filing a false insurance claim in March relating to a damaged recreational vehicle, worth $210,000, Nancy Kincaid, a spokeswoman for the agency, previously told The Tribune.
The department’s investigation showed Lilly damaged the vehicle in a collision and sought an estimate from a body shop on March 19, Kincaid said. That estimate was $4,600.
Lilly then bought insurance from Progressive Insurance Corp. on March 24 and claimed the damage to Progressive on March 28, Kincaid said.
The arrest came as part of a Department of Insurance sweep, in which warrants were served in 22 counties and which has resulted in prosecutors filing some 200 felony counts.
Lilly had faced a maximum of five years in San Luis Obispo County Jail if convicted of all charges.
Lilly played with six Major League baseball teams over 15 years, finishing his career with the Dodgers after signing a three-year, $33 million contract in 2010. Before that, the left-hander pitched with the Chicago Cubs, who paid him $40 million in a four-year deal.
A restitution hearing in Lilly’s case will be held June 4 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.