Former General Secretary Of Guatemalan Soccer Federation Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud Charges
Hector Trujillo, a Former Judge of Guatemalan Constitutional Court, Agrees to Forfeit $175,000
Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, Héctor Trujillo, general secretary of the Guatemalan soccer federation (the “federation”) from 2009 to 2015 and a former judge of the Constitutional Court of Guatemala, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud in connection with his participation in a scheme to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks. Trujillo also agreed to forfeit $175,000. Trujillo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment for each count. Today’s plea proceeding took place before United States District Judge Pamela K. Chen.
The guilty plea was announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assisting Director in Charge, FBI New York Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge R. Damon Rowe, IRS Criminal Investigation, Los Angeles Field Office.
According to court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, Trujillo and other officials of the federation agreed to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from Media World, a sports marketing company based in Miami, in exchange for media and marketing rights to the Guatemalan soccer team’s home World Cup qualifier matches leading up to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments. Over a period of years, Media World transmitted these kickbacks from its U.S. bank accounts. After Media World wired some of the kickback money to a United States bank account controlled by Trujillo’s associate, the associate wired the money from that account to an account in Guatemala, where Trujillo received his share.
The guilty plea announced today is part of an investigation into corruption in international soccer being led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the FBI New York Field Office, and the IRS-CI Los Angeles Field Office. The prosecutors in Brooklyn are receiving considerable assistance from attorneys in various parts of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in Washington, D.C., including the Office of International Affairs, the Organized Crime and Gang Section, the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, and the Fraud Section, as well as from INTERPOL Washington.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Tuchmann, Samuel P. Nitze, M. Kristin Mace, Keith D. Edelman, and Brian D. Morris of the Eastern District of New York are in charge of today’s prosecution.
The government’s investigation is ongoing.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 15 CR 252 (S-1)