FifaGate: Guatemala ex-football boss's guilty plea revealed

A FIFA rostrum after FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced his resignation. (Ennio Leanza, AP)
A FIFA rostrum after FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced his resignation. (Ennio Leanza, AP)

New York - Ex-Guatemala soccer chief and former FIFA executive committee member Rafael Salguero, 72, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in a US court, and will be sentenced by a judge in New York this week, it was revealed Tuesday.

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.

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

But the transcript of what took place that day was just released Tuesday, and heavily redacted in places to protect the names of certain countries and entities.

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 accepting more than $200 million in bribes.

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

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

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