March 29, 2016 by staff · Comments Off
Rafael Callejas FIFA Bribery, Former Honduran president Rafael Callejas pleaded guilty in New York Monday to conspiracy to commit racketeering and wire fraud in connection with the FIFA corruption scandal rocking world football.
The 72-year-old, who has been free on a $4 million bail in the United States since leaving Honduras by private jet last December to face American justice, will be sentenced on August 5.
The two counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.
“Guilty,” Callejas told Magistrate Judge Robert Levy in a federal court in Brooklyn, entering his plea. He spoke calmly in fluent English with a US accent, dressed in a dark suit.
Callejas served as president of Honduras from 1990 to 1994. He was head of the country’s football federation from 2002 to 2015, and is also a former member of FIFA’s Television and Marketing Committee.
He originally faced eight charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering, to which he pleaded not guilty on December 15.
“I knew it was wrong,” he told court Monday in reference to receiving bribes for awarding media and marketing rights contracts to a Florida-based company for Honduran FIFA World Cup qualifier matches.
As part of his plea, he has agreed to forfeit $650,000 — $180,000 to be paid within one week and the balance due within 12 months, prosecutors said during the 25-minute hearing.