NEW YORK – A former Guatemalan judge pleaded guilty Friday to wire fraud and conspiracy in the global soccer corruption probe.
Hector Trujillo took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for sports marketing contracts, U.S. prosecutors said.
Trujillo was general secretary of Guatemala’s soccer federation when he was arrested in December 2015 in Port Canaveral, Florida, while taking a Disney cruise with his family.
Trujillo spent weeks in federal lock-ups in Oklahoma and New York before he was freed on $4 million bond in January 2016 and granted home detention in Newark, New Jersey. His lawyer said he had resigned his position on Guatemala’s Constitutional Court after he was charged.
FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, suspended the Guatemala Football Association in October.
Brayan Jimenez, the former president of the Guatemala association, was banned for life by FIFA in April after pleading guilty to racketeering and wire fraud.
Trujillo pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court, admitting he took bribes. He said he would not contest any sentence less than 57 months. Sentencing was set for Sept. 20.
The U.S. investigation of corruption linked to FIFA has indicted or taken guilty pleas from more than 40 people and marketing agencies linked to soccer in the Americas since 2015. Many of the charges involve bribes paid around the organization of regional tournaments and World Cup qualifying games.
Prosecutors in Switzerland have also been investigating. FIFA has also conducted internal investigations of corruption and self-dealing that led it to ban its former president, Sepp Blatter, and longtime secretary general, Jerome Valcke.