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FIFA ex-VP Hawit pleads guilty in corruption case

April 11, 2016
NEW YORK — Former FIFA vice president Alfredo Hawit pleaded guilty Monday to four criminal charges, including racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy, in connection with the massive corruption scandal that has rocked the football world, U.S. court officials said.

Hawit, who is from Honduras and also served as CONCACAF president, appeared at a hearing in a Brooklyn court where he agreed in addition to his guilty pleas to forfeit nearly $1 million.

The 64-year old former soccer executive pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to U.S. court officials.

Hawit entered the guilty pleas “in connection with his receipt of bribes in exchange for the awarding of contracts for the media and marketing rights to CONCACAF tournaments and FIFA World Cup qualifier matches,” a court statement said.

“Hawit, who served in high-ranking positions in soccer from 1998 to 2015, also agreed to forfeit $950,000,” the statement said.

Hawit faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for each count. It was not clear whether the prison terms would be served concurrently or consecutively.

Hawit was extradited to the United States from Switzerland in January following his arrest on December 3. He was living with a daughter in Florida while free on $1 million in bail, of which he paid $50,000 in cash with the rest guaranteed with property.

U.S. prosecutors say Hawit accepted and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes as general secretary of the Honduran football federation between 2008 and 2014.

He is one of several FIFA officials extradited by Switzerland to the United States in connection with the multimillion-dollar corruption scandal.

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