Mike Pont/FilmMagic

A disgraced former figure in the baseball world has filed a lawsuit that proposes to revisit one of the game’s most notable scandals. According to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (Twitter links), Juan Carlos Nunez — who served jail time relating to the Biogenesis PED mess — is suing the ACES agency that he once worked for as an independent contractor.

At this point, details are quite hazy even as to the allegations, as the complaint itself has yet to surface. (MLBTR was unable to locate the matter via public records search.) Per Heyman, Nunez claims that ACES founders Sam and Seth Levinson guided and funded him in a scheme to attract clients and provide them with performance-enhancing drugs. He is seeking “millions” in damages under as-yet-unknown legal theories.

In a full post on the subject, Heyman offers numerous additional details on the claims set forth in the complaint. He adds that Nunez is seeking $2MM in unpaid commissions along with $500K in legal fees.

When reached for comment, Seth and Sam Levinson provided MLBTR the following statement:

“While we have not yet seen the complaint, Juan Nunez is a convicted felon who spent time in federal prison. He betrayed his family, the players who trusted him and the very people who gave him an opportunity at a great life and career. He was terminated almost six (6) years ago, in August of 2012, after his betrayals came to light. ACES has been thoroughly investigated, and at every turn, has fully cooperated. The MLBPA exonerated us, all of the players cleared us, and it was conclusively proven that we did absolutely nothing wrong. This is nothing more than a shakedown by a man broken by his own criminal actions. We will take the fight to Mr. Nunez for any meritless and defamatory claims, and we will seek all available remedies and damages that his criminal behavior has caused.”

Given that we don’t yet even know precisely what has been alleged, let alone what evidence might be mustered, it goes without saying that the actual merits of Nunez’s claims are anything but settled. Those general caveats are certainly all the more pressing here, given Nunez’s highly problematic track record.

Nunez is perhaps best known for setting up a fake website in a misguided plot to absolve Melky Cabrera (then an ACES client) of his 2012 PED suspension. It turned out that Nunez’s ties to illicit substances went beyond that case, as he was ultimately sentenced to jail time and house arrest after copping to functioning as an intermediary between baseball players and the Biogenesis clinic. Nunez was reportedly implicated in prior scams and came with an undesirable reputation even before Biogenesis.

The MLBPA investigated the ACES agency as part of the broad Biogenesis fallout, as the agency represented ten players that were caught up in the scandal. The Levinsons vehemently denied any knowledge of Nunez’s improprieties and were ultimately cleared by the union. ACES continues to represent a lengthy list of major leaguers, as documented in MLBTR’s Agency Database.

In large part, then, this is a heavily-trodden matter that has largely been resolved. That said, there surely were many questions legitimately asked with so many ACES clients coming under scrutiny. The agency obviously benefited from the relationship with Nunez, who helped to recruit and retain Spanish-speaking ballplayers. Some around the game raised concerns with the Levinsons, as documented at the time in reports such as this one from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, though the agency has not faced discipline and has continued to operate as usual in the ensuing years.

It remains to be seen whether this lawsuit will lead to the production of new information relating to the Biogenesis matter, let alone whether there is any chance that the commissioner’s office or MLBPA will reengage a matter they’d surely like to leave in the past. That may hinge upon whether Nunez is able to produce any actual evidence. At this point, though, it is unclear whether anything will ultimately change in our understanding of this unfortunate epoch of MLB history.

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This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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