Buenos Aires Times

sports FIFAgate

Key South American defendants found guilty of football corruption in New York court

The ruling is part of a wide-ranging scandal and criminal investigation into football’s governing body, FIFA.

Friday 22 December, 2017
A New York jury found Juan Angel Napout and José Maria Marin guilty of a number of charges, as part of the so-called FIFAgate scandal.
A New York jury found Juan Angel Napout and José Maria Marin guilty of a number of charges, as part of the so-called FIFAgate scandal. Foto:AFP

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A New York jury on Friday found former Conmebol president Juan Ángel Napout, from Paraguay, and the former head of Brazilian football José María Marin guilty of charges of criminal conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering. 

The ruling is part of a wide-ranging scandal and criminal investigation into football’s governing body, FIFA.

The seven-week trail that included six days of deliberation has not yet produced a ruling regarding the alleged activities of a third defendant, former Peruvian football chief, Manuel Burga who is charged with conspiracy to commit a crime.

MARIN

Marin, 85, presided over the Brazilian Football Confederation from March 2012 to May 27, 2015 when he was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland. He was found guilty of six of the seven crimes he was charged with, including having accepted bribes in exchange for television and marketing contracts for the Liberatores Cup and Copa América. 

He was, however, cleared of charges of conspiracy to commit banking fraud in connection with the Brazil Cup.

NAPOUT

Napout, 59, was the head of Paraguayan football and Conmebol from 2015 until his arrest in December that year in Zurich. He was found guilty of three of the fives charges against him including criminal conspiracy and banking fraud in connection to the Liberatores Cup and Copa América. 

The three defendants are the only men on trial, of a total of 42, who insist that they are innocent. 

According to the prosecution, Napout, Marin and Burga received US10.5 million, US$6.55 million and US$4.4 million in bribes, respectively, from 2010 to 2016.

Judge Pamela Chen, who leads the so-called FIFAgate scandal, is yet to determine a sentence for the two men.

-AFP

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