A former Guatemalan choose who as soon as served as a normal secretary of the chief board of the Central American nation’s Soccer federation was sentenced to eight months in jail on Wednesday, the primary particular person to be sentenced in a U.S. probe into bribery surrounding world soccer governing physique FIFA.
Hector Trujillo, 64, was sentenced by U.S. District Choose Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, New York. Trujillo had pleaded responsible to wire fraud and conspiracy in June, admitting that he took kickbacks from a advertising firm in change for his assist securing media and advertising rights for World Cup qualifying matches.
Not less than 42 folks and entities have been charged in a U.S. probe into the fee of greater than $200 million of bribes and kickbacks to soccer officers, in change for advertising and broadcast rights forward of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup soccer tournaments.
Earlier than being sentenced, Trujillo mentioned by means of an interpreter that he had considered the funds as reward for his exhausting work, and as “widespread apply.”
“I’ve to confess that my conscience failed me,” he mentioned. “My very own ethical judgment failed me.”
Trujillo, a former choose on the Constitutional Courtroom of Guatemala, requested to be allowed to return to Guatemala with out serving any jail time, saying he had already suffered sufficient within the almost two years spent in the US since his arrest, aside from his household.
Chen, nevertheless, mentioned that will ship the “flawed message” to others taking part in what U.S. prosecutors have known as a pervasive tradition of corruption in sport.
The sentence was lower than the 33 to 41 months known as for by federal sentencing pointers. Chen mentioned she selected her sentence partially by contemplating comparable instances, together with that of former U.S. Consultant Michael Grimm of New York, who was sentenced to eight months for tax evasion.
Chen additionally mentioned Trujillo, together with different defendants, can be chargeable for $415,000 in restitution, however ordered extra briefing from attorneys to determine how it will be paid.
Trujillo was arrested in December 2015 on a Disney cruise ship docked in Port Canaveral, Florida. U.S. prosecutors charged that he accepted a whole lot of hundreds of in bribes, to be shared with different Guatemalan soccer officers.
A kind of different officers was Brayan Jimenez, who had served as president of Guatemala’s soccer federation, prosecutors mentioned.
Jimenez pleaded responsible final July to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy costs. He has not been sentenced.
FIFA suspended Guatemala’s soccer federation in October 2016.
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