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Fifa corruption scandal

Ex-Brazilian soccer boss Jose Maria Marin, 86, gets 4 years in US prison in Fifa corruption probe

At least 42 individuals and entities have been charged in the bribery scandal, and many have pleaded guilty

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 4:31am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 5:26am

A former president of Brazil’s soccer federation was sentenced on Wednesday by a US judge to four years in prison after being convicted on corruption charges related to the bribery scandal at Fifa, the sport’s governing body.

Jose Maria Marin, 86, was sentenced by US District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, New York. He was also fined US$1.2 million and ordered to forfeit US$3.34 million.

Marin, the former head of Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF), was convicted on December 22 by a federal jury on six conspiracy counts, including conspiracy to commit racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

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He was among the first to stand trial over what US prosecutors called a sprawling scheme involving payments of more than US$200 million in bribes and kickbacks for marketing and broadcast rights for soccer matches.

Prosecutors said that Marin had received several million dollars in bribes.

“We are disappointed in the length of the sentence but appreciate the judge’s efforts to strike a fair balance,” Marin’s lawyer Charles Stillman, said in an email. “Mr. Marin will pursue an appeal.”

Prosecutors had sought a minimum 10-year prison term, less the 13 months that Marin has already spent in custody.

Defence lawyers said that Marin’s age and health meant he should be sentenced to time served, court papers showed. CBF declined to comment.

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At least 42 individuals and entities have been charged in the Fifa probe, and many have pleaded guilty.

Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, a former head of South America’s soccer governing body CONMEBOL, was a co-defendant at Marin’s trial and was also convicted. His sentencing is scheduled for August 29, court records showed. The third defendant at the trial, former Peruvian soccer official Manuel Burga, was acquitted.

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