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Dominican authorities freeze Wander Franco's bank accounts amid dispute

Juan Carlos Chavez, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Baseball

Authorities in the Dominican Republic ordered a temporary freeze on three bank accounts linked to Wander Franco after one of the Rays shortstop’s former lawyers in Santo Domingo filed a lawsuit over unpaid fees.

Juan Francisco Rodríguez Consoró is seeking the equivalent of $256,000 for the seven weeks he says he represented Franco, Teodosio Jáquez Encarnación, Franco’s lawyer in Puerto Plata, said Thursday.

Little more than a week ago, Rodríguez Consoró informed the Tampa Bay Times via text message that he no longer represented the 22-year-old, without specifying when or why he ceased to do so.

Franco faces possible criminal charges relating to an alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl that could send him to prison and end his Major League Baseball career.

“Rodríguez Consoró will have the opportunity to present to a judge all the procedures and diligences he conducted on behalf of Wander, and that judge or the necessary judges will decide if Wander truly owes him the amount of money he is demanding,” Encarnación said. “But what he intends to charge is an abuse!”

According to Encarnación, Dominican authorities froze not only Franco’s accounts but also those of his parents, Nancy Aybar and Wander Franco.

 

A reporter from the Times attempted to contact Rodríguez Consoró by phone Thursday afternoon seeking more details about his lawsuit, but he refused to talk and hung up without explanation

Less than a year ago, Rodríguez Consoró was removed from his position as a criminal court judge following an investigation by the Dominican Republic’s judiciary’s highest disciplinary body. It found that he accepted bribes and issued court orders favoring suspects in several criminal cases, according to court documents.

Encarnación said Dominican judicial officials will clarify the facts about Rodríguez Consoró and his role as former Franco’s lawyer. He said Franco never signed a contract with Rodríguez Consoró that stipulated such an amount of money.

“Wander has not signed any contract agreeing to pay him that much, nor Wander’s parents,” Encarnación said. “It is absolutely excessive and disproportionate.”

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