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The Defendants Include Two Current FIFA Vice Presidents and the Current and Former Presidents of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF); Seven Defendants Arrested Overseas; Guilty Pleas for Four Individual Defendants and Two Corporate Defendants Also Unsealed
A 47-count indictment was unsealed early this morning in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer. The guilty pleas of four individual defendants and two corporate defendants were also unsealed today.
“As charged in the indictment, the defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world,” said Director Comey. “Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks, and bribes became a way of doing business at FIFA. I want to commend the investigators and prosecutors around the world who have pursued this case so diligently, for so many years.”
The government’s investigation is ongoing.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Evan M. Norris, Amanda Hector, Darren A. LaVerne, Samuel P. Nitze, Keith D. Edelman and Brian D. Morris of the Eastern District of New York, with assistance provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and Organized Crime and Gang Section.
Héctor Trujillo, a Guatemalan judge and soccer official charged by the United States in December with accepting and laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, was held in solitary confinement at a detention center in Brooklyn for the past week until he was released Thursday on a $4 million bond.
“It’s hindered his ability to communicate with family and get access to medical care,” Mr. Miedel said, presenting to Robert M. Levy, a United States magistrate judge, a $4 million bail package to which prosecutors had agreed. Assets for the bail had not yet been secured.
Prosecutors said that before releasing Mr. Trujillo, they needed more financial assurances that he would not flee, pointing to his strong ties to Guatemala, his stature there and his “significant resources.”