Guatemalan judge becomes latest to plead guilty in Fifa corruption scandal

Former Football Federation of Guatemala (FENAFUTG) general secretary Hector Trujillo has become the latest official to plead guilty to crimes associated with the global football corruption investigation.

The 63-year-old former judge on Friday pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy, admitting that he took bribes from a company seeking to secure sports marketing contracts. 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.

According to the Associated Press news agency, US prosecutors said Trujillo took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for sports marketing contracts. As he pleaded guilty, in Brooklyn federal court, Trujillo agreed not to oppose any sentence less than four years and nine months in prison, adding that his crimes occurred between 2009 and 2016.

“I recognised that I deprived the federation of my honest services,” Trujillo said. “I know that it was wrong for me to accept those payments.”

Trujillo said the bribes were paid by a Miami-based sports marketing 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.

As part of the plea, Trujillo agreed to forfeit $175,000 (€159,000), with sentencing set for September 20. Former FENAFUTG president Brayan Jimenez was banned for life by world football’s governing body Fifa in April after pleading guilty to racketeering and wire fraud.

Costas Takkas, an ex-aide to former Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) president Jeffrey Webb, last month pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy in connection with his receipt and transmission of millions of dollars in bribes paid to the former Fifa vice-president.