A former president of Brazil’s soccer federation was sentenced on Wednesday by a U.S. judge to four years in prison on corruption charges related to the bribery scandal at FIFA, the sport’s governing body.
Jose Maria Marin, 86, was sentenced by U.S. 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 Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF), was convicted on December 22 by a federal jury on six conspiracy counts, including to commit racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.
He was among the first to stand trial over what U.S. prosecutors called a sprawling scheme involving payments of more than US$200 million of bribes and kickbacks in exchange for marketing and broadcast rights for soccer matches. Prosecutors said Marin 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.”
Defense lawyers said Marin’s age and health meant he should be sentenced to time served, court papers showed. CBF declined to comment.
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.