Ex Brazilian Soccer Official Sentenced in FIFA Bribery Trial

Published: 23 August 2018

256px-José Maria MarinJosé Maria Marin by Fúlvio (CC BY 3.0)

By Daniela Castro

A Brooklyn federal judge sentenced on Wednesday a former Brazilian soccer federation president to four years in prison for conspiratorial racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, the US Department of Justice said.

Jose Maria Marin, 86, the former head of the Brazilian soccer federation, known as the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF), was arrested in 2015 in Switzerland and convicted at the end of 2017 of six conspiracy counts, including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

Besides the prison term, the judge also ordered Marin to pay US$3,335,593 in forfeiture and imposed a fine of $1,200,000.

“Today’s sentencing of Mr. Marin is just one step in a wide-ranging investigation of these corrupt officials, and shows the FBI and our law enforcement partners are continuing our pursuit of those who used the game of soccer to pad their bank accounts,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney.

According to the U.S Department of Justice, Marin accepted, or agreed to accept, millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for the media and marketing rights for soccer tournaments.

At the time he took the bribes, Marin was also a member of various FIFA standing committees, and a representative to CONMEBOL, the confederation responsible for soccer in South America.

Marin is an attorney and former politician who served as the governor of the state of Sao Paulo and was a vice president of the CBF from 2010 to April 2012, according to the sentencing memorandum.

Marin’s codefendant Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, a former head of CONMEBOL, was also convicted. His sentencing is scheduled for August 29. The third defendant at the trial, former Peruvian soccer official Manuel Burga, was acquitted, reported Reuters.

The Court sentenced two defendants charged in the same case last year - Hector Trujillo, a former Guatemalan soccer official and Costas Takkas, an attaché to former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb.