Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Notable Dodgers "Draft Bust" Pitcher Busted for Running Shady Karaoke Machine Biz

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Bill Bene, a former amateur draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, had agreed to plead guilty on federal charges he operated a counterfeit karaoke business and didn't pay taxes on sales.

The Long Beach-born Bene, 44, sold counterfeit karaoke machines between 2006 and 2010, and did not report over $600,000 in sales to the Internal Revenue Service, according to City News Service. As part of his scheme, Bene illegally copied and sold karaoke songs on hard drives containing about 122,000 titles each, say prosecutors.

Bene, a Cal State L.A. grad, was drafted by the Dodgers in the 1st round of the 1988 MLB June Amateur Draft, but he spent his career in the minors. Baseball Reference hails Bene as "perhaps one of the most notable draft busts of his era."

Now the busted Bene could be looking at a maximum sentence of eight years behind bars, plus a fine of $250,000 or two times the gross gain or gross loss, restitution payments and three years of supervised release, according to prosecutors.