FifaGate: Guatemala ex-football boss guilty

NEW YORK: Ex-Guatemala soccer chief and former FIFA executive committee member Rafael Salguero, 72, pleaded guilty Tuesday (Dec 5) to accepting bribes in a US court, and will be sentenced by a judge in New York.

Accused in 2015 of joining a criminal conspiracy to commit a crime, two counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to launder money, Salguero pleaded guilty to the four counts and is under house arrest in the United States.

At sentencing Thursday, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each, but his cooperation with the prosecution may help him reduce his sentence.

Salguero is one of the defendants in FIFAGate, the scandal uncovered by the US government that accused 42 people and sports companies of 92 crimes and accept more than 200 million dollars in bribes.

He pleaded guilty on Oct 27, 2016, to a closed-door hearing with Judge Pamela Chen, who is in charge of the FIFAGate case in federal court in Brooklyn.

As part of his plea agreement with the prosecution, Salguero agreed to return US$168,000 received in bribes, according to court documents.