Baseball91's Weblog

March 27, 2009

Looking For Bonus Babies


And you thought you had problems.

Jose Tabata, the Pittsburgh Pirates highly touted prospect, was in the news for all the wrong reasons today. This 20-year-old prospect from Venezuela was acquired by the Pirates on July 26, 2008, along with Ross Ohlender, Jeff Karstens, and Dan McCutchen from the Yankees for Xavier Nady, and Damasco Marte. At the age of 17 and in his first year of professional ball, he had led the entire Yankees farm system in batting average when he hit .314 for the Gulf Coast Yankees in 2005. In 2006, he batted .298 for the Charleston River Dogs in class A.

Amalia Tabata Pereira, the Puerto Rican wife of Pittsburgh Pirates minor league player, has reportedly been charged with false imprisonment, interference with child custody, and impersonating a social service worker, according to a copyrighted story published by the Associated Press. “Details of Pereira’s past emerged Wednesday through court documents obtained today by The Tampa Tribune even as police continued to investigate why she took another woman’s baby. “

“In 2000, Pereira was convicted of arson, grand theft and forgery and sentenced to more than two years in prison. Pereira also had a gambling problem so severe it endangered the welfare of her family. Amalia Tabata Pereira admitted eight years ago when she was known as Amalia Segui. She says she committed crimes to finance the addiction. In 1999 Pereira stole thousands of dollars from her job and burned company documents. During her trial, three of her children wrote letters to the judge, saying their mother learned from her mistakes. It wasn’t enough to gain leniency,” according to the Associated Press.

“At this point, we still don’t have actual reasoning as to why she did what she did or why she chose the family she chose,” Plant City police Sgt. David Millich told the writer with the Associated Press.

Police continued to investigate but don’t have actual reasoning as to why Tabata would have married her.

“Pereira, 43, turned herself in to Manatee County deputies near her Bradenton home more than 24 hours after the baby was taken. The baby was with her, safe and unharmed. Investigators returned Sandra to her parents Tuesday night,” according to the Associated Press..

“The child’s mother, Rosa Sirilo-Francisco, said Pereira approached her on Monday at the Plant City health department claiming she was an immigration official. Sirilo-Francisco said Pereira told her that if she handed over 2-month-old Sandra Cruz-Francisco, she would help the parents avoid deportation to Mexico.”

“The gambling problem, the arson charges, Sandra’s abduction — these are not the acts of a woman who had always been pleasant and helpful to others, said Pereira’s uncle, Jesus Negron. He said he last saw her about 11 years ago in Puerto Rico where Pereira was born,” according to the copyrighted story.

“Eight years ago, the woman then known as Amalia Segui admitted to investigators that she was a pathological gambler and spent at least one day a week betting on sports, gambling in a casino and playing lotteries and bingo.”

According to the copyrighted story published by the Associated Press, “Pereira stole about $20,000 from her job at Instant Car Title Loans by creating dummy accounts and selling cars without owners’ consent. She made entries on clients’ accounts so they appeared paid up, but kept the money herself. When the company was going out of business, Pereira worried that she would get caught. She staged a robbery and had an accomplice set files on fire. After the blaze, she told police she was attacked by two black males who came into the business, set the fire and stole money, according to the documents. She worked with investigators on sketches of the males before the owners of Instant Car Title Loans asked police to start looking at Pereira as a suspect. She eventually admitted her involvement in the fire.”

“Before she was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison, Pereira’s children wrote letters to the judge.”

“’She’s been a mother and a father figure,’ wrote daughter Angelica Maldonado, who was 17 at the time. ‘Not a lot of mothers could do that. Some mothers just quit and abandon their kids but no I look up to my mother big time. She’s a very strong woman. She’s been put through a lot.’ Pereira allegedly had 4 children all older than teen-agers, according to an article in the St. Petersburg Times.”

Tabata’s stepdaughter, Angelica Maldonado, is at least 5 years older than Pittsburgh Pirates prospect.

“Wednesday, detectives reviewed surveillance video of places Sirilo-Francisco and Pereira visited the day before.”

“Tabata, the Pittsburgh Pirates highly touted prospect, said in a statement through his team that he was confused by his wife’s behavior. Tabata and the woman were married in January 2008 in Hillsborough County, according to the Associated Press. The Pirates’ media guide listed her name as Mayita. The woman apparently has used at least four names in the past.”

The 20-year-old Venzuelan outfielder who was an international signee by the New Yoirk Yankees in 2005 and became the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect by 2008, said “in a statement Wednesday that he is ‘hurt, frustrated, and confused by her actions,’ the 20-year-old Venezuela native said of the alleged behavior of his 43-year-old wife. ‘I have and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in any way that I can. Until I have all of the facts, I cannot comment any further.’”

According to the Associated Press copyrighted story, “Pereira has an attorney and is no longer cooperating with investigators, Sgt. David Millich said.”

“Tabata, who spent part of spring training with the Pirates, reportedly did not take part in workouts at their minor league complex Wednesday and declined to talk to reporters.”

“Several relatives contacted Wednesday reportedly declined to comment. Jesus Negron said he’s not aware of his niece having any psychological issues. ‘Every time I saw her and all I knew about her, she was fine,’ he said, according to the Associated Press copyrighted story.

“Pereira got the baby. Sirilo-Francisco told investigators she realized hours later that the woman was a fraud and called police despite her fears of being deported.”

“Bail was set at $750,000 Wednesday as Pereira was then transferred to Orient Road Jail where she was booked about 8 p.m. The baby was taken hours after an initial conversation between Sirilo-Francisco and Pereira inside the Plant City Health Department, where Sandra’s mother took her for a routine check-up.”


1 Comment »

  1. The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Jose Tabata at the July trading deadline.

    Comment by baseball91 — August 19, 2015 @ 2:42 PM | Reply

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