Justin Wayne

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Justin Morgan Wayne

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Justin Wayne is the brother of Hawkeye Wayne. He was a first-round selection (5th overall) by the Montréal Expos in the 2000 amateur draft, out of Stanford University. Reportedly, Expos owner Jeffrey Loria resented having had to pay a large signing bonus to an unproven player, and when he swapped the Expos for the Florida Marlins in the unholy team ownership transfers that followed the 2001 season, he insisted in acquiring Wayne and another similar bonus recipient, Don Levinski, when the Expos pulled off a trade with the Marlins for Cliff Floyd on July 11, 2002. His justification was apparently that these two pitchers had been signed with "his" money so should be returned to their rightful owner! In any case, Levinski never made it to the big leagues, and Wayne had a very disappointing career after making his debut with Florida in September of that season. He pitched 26 times over three seasons, and went 5-8, 6.13, never coming close to matching his success in college. He was released before the start of the 2005 season, and after failing to catch on with a couple of other organizations, ended his career.

Wayne's name resurfaced in the news in November 2018 when he was sentenced to four years in prison for his participation in an insurance fraud scheme, along with his brother. The two owned a testing lab and had agreed to perform unneeded tests of patients' urine in order to bilk insurance companies. They agreed to reimburse $3.8 million and their sentences were suspended to allow them to testify against the alleged ringleaders of the scam, a move that could lead to a reduction of their sentence. Apparently, it was his brother who first established contact with convicted felon Lanny Fried, who had been convicted in a number of fraud cases, some of which involved professional athletes. He convinced them to have their company join into the scheme, by performing the unnecessary drug tests on recovering addicts being treated by another company associated with Fried, and charging large amounts to insurance companies to reimburse these. Fried eventually pleaded guilty, but both Wayne brothers were sent to prison, with Justin ending up in a Federal minimum security facility in Alabama where he was sentenced to 46 months, later reduced to 24 because of his willingness to cooperate with authorities in advancing the investigation.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Joe Capozzi: "From the big leagues to the big house: How an ex-con helped put former MLB pitcher Justin Wayne in prison", USA Today, November 27, 2019. [1]

Related Sites[edit]