Hector Trujillo, the former general secretary of the Football Federation of Guatemala (FENAFUTG), has become the first person to be sentenced in the US as part of the investigation into global football corruption.
Trujillo, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges in June, was sentenced to eight months in prison. US District Judge Pamela Chen also ordered $415,000 (€351,000) in restitution at the hearing in Brooklyn.
Federal sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of between 33 and 41 months, but Chen said that she had taken into account similar cases, including incidents of tax evasion.
Trujillo admitted to accepting kickbacks from a marketing company in exchange for helping to broker media and marketing deals surrounding Fifa World Cup qualifying matches.
Trujillo said the bribes were paid by a Miami-based company to help it land contracts through current and future negotiations. He said he received bribes in 2010 and 2014 and paid some of the proceeds to others, adding that he never informed FENAFUTG of his activities.
Chen said that $175,000 in bribes diverted to Trujillo between 2009 and 2016 should have been put towards building new facilities or kits for players in poor neighbourhoods.
Speaking through an interpreter, Trujillo said that his “conscience” and “moral judgement” had failed him.
“My intention when I entered the federation was not greed or personal profit,” he said. “I was blinded. Reflecting on this, I have been able to understand the magnitude of this shameful mistake that I made.”
Trujillo was serving in his FENAFUTG role when he was arrested in December 2015 in Port Canaveral, Florida, while on a Disney cruise with his family.