Three media executives and a sports marketing company were indicted last week on allegations of fraud and money laundering as part of a long-running investigation by Federal authorities into large-scale corruption in organized soccer.
The indictment was unsealed in the Brooklyn courtroom of United States District Judge Pamela K. Chen last Monday that was handed down three weeks prior. In addition to charging the quartet with Federal felonies, the indictment also added new charges against other parties that are currently located in overseas jurisdictions. The named defendants were scheduled for arraignment last Wednesday in the same court.
According to the indictment, the defendants used their standing in the arena of world soccer to ask for and receive bribes and kickbacks in exchange for certain favors, among them the broadcast rights for certain international soccer games and tournaments.
A pair of the defendants allegedly arranged for regular payment of millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for the broadcast rights for a major South American soccer tournament. They are also alleged to have used their connections within the highest levels of the governing body of South American soccer to secure confidential information on the bid process and provide it to a television network that later went on to submit the winning bid.
A third defendant is alleged to have made similar arrangements with the governing bodies of Carribean and Central American soccer to broadcast qualifying matches for the next two international championship tournaments. In one instance he is alleged to have facilitated a bribe of $3 million to a senior official in the Caribbean governing body to obtain a share of broadcast rights for qualifying matches.
The indictment unsealed last week charges two of the defendants with RICO conspiracy and all four defendants with wire fraud and money laundering. Each of the charges carry maximum sentences of two decades in Federal prison.
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