Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 5:27 p.m.
By Mark Zuckerman
Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez is reportedly the subject of a federal investigation involving money laundering for Angel Ayala Vazquez, a convicted drug trafficker in Puerto Rico.
According to a report on Puerto Rican news site El Vocero, Hernandez is one of several celebrities being investigated and could face charges of money laundering and bank fraud. The report said Hernandez testified in relation to the Vazquez case in front of a grand jury in the summer of 2009. He spent most of that season pitching for the Mets before being signed by the Nationals on Aug. 26.
As part of the case against Vazquez, Hernandez's name was mentioned multiple times by various witnesses as a figurehead or prominent part of Ayala Vazquez's operation. During the trial, U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement agents declared that a warehouse and a collection of luxury cars were all registered under Hernandez's name but were actually owned by Vazquez.
A team spokesman said Wednesday that the Nationals "are aware of, and continue to monitor, the situation as it pertains to the Angel Manuel Ayala trial." Hernandez, through the spokesman, declined to comment.
Hernandez is scheduled to start tomorrow night's game against the Mets at Nationals Park.