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  • First Sentencing in FIFA Scandal in USA


    (ATR) The former secretary general of Guatemala’s soccer federation becomes the first person sentenced in the United States as part of the FIFA corruption.
    Hector Trujillo (Wikipedia)

    Hector Trujillo was given an eight month sentence by a federal judge in New York on Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy in June.

    Prosecutors had asked for between 41 and 51 months in prison for Trujillo, the guideline range for his offenses.

    The judge in the case did agree with the prosecution in requiring him to pay $415,000 in restitution to the Guatemala Football Federation.

    Trujillo’s lawyers were asking for no prison time but said they would not contest any sentence less than four years and nine months, according to the Associated Press.

    Trujillo, a former judge, also agreed to forfeit $175,000 as part of the plea deal in June. He had been free on $4 million bond since January 2016.

    According to prosecutors, Trujillo was among a group of Guatemalan officials who took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for media and marketing rights for the country’s qualifier matches for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

    Trujillo is the first of 12 men who have pleaded guilty in this specific case to receive his sentence. Sentencing has been postponed for many of the others. An additional 12 cases related to the FIFA prosecution are at various stages within the U.S. Federal Court system in New York.

    More than 40 people and marketing agencies have been indicted or pled guilty as part of the U.S. Justice Department investigation into corruption related to broadcast contracts and sponsorships involving North, South and Central American football. The investigation hit the spotlight with the arrests of high-ranking FIFA officials on the eve of the FIFA Congress in May 2015.

    Both FIFA and Swiss authorities later launched their own investigation into FIFA's activities and these and other inquiries have claimed a number of the biggest names in football, including former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his right-hand man Jerome Valcke, the ex-FIFA general secretary.

    Homepage photo: Getty Images

    Written by Gerard Farek

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