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FIFA corruption scandal to see first soccer official sentenced

A Guatemalan judge who once served as general secretary of his country's soccer federation is expected to be the first person sentenced in the U.S. in the world soccer bribery scandal. Hector Trujillo, 63, is set to receive his sentence Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn, N.Y., after pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy in June. Trujillo confessed to accepting almost $200,000 in bribes from a company that tried to secure sports marketing contracts. Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of more than three years in prison and suggest Trujillo should pay $415,000 in restitution. The defense is asking for no time behind the bars for crimes committed between 2009 and 2016, and urged the judge to show leniency because the case ended Trujillo’s “successful and prominent career and tarnished his spotless reputation as a respected jurist and advocate.” They also said the arrest forced Trujillo to resign as an alternate judge on Guatemala's constitutional court and say his health debilitated following the arrest by U.S. authorities. Under the plea agreement, Trujillo will not object any sentence less than four years and nine months in prison, and agreed to forfeit $175,000. He is currently living in Miami, free on $4 million bail. Trujillo was arrested in December 2015 in Florida during a Disney cruise with his family. In pre-sentence papers, prosecutors argue that he underrates the seriousness of his committed crimes, claiming he did not violate the laws of Guatemala, despite breaking FIFA rules. "While the defendant may not have played the largest role or pocketed the most money of all of the defendants in the case, his conduct nevertheless shows that he engaged in the same type of conduct as the rest of the corrupt soccer officials who have been charged. And that corrupt conduct requires a significant sentence," prosecutors said in court documents. The U.S. investigation of corruption scandal linked with FIFA has led to indictments or guilty pleas from more than 40 people and companies linked to the sport in the America since 2015. Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain soccer club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, a 43-year-old Qatari soccer and television executive, was questioned Wednesday by Swiss authorities who accuse him of bribing a FIFA official in a World Cup broadcasting rights deal. Al-Khelaifi is accused of letting former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke to use his luxury villa on the Island of Sardinia – seized two weeks ago by Italian authorities – in exchange for 2026-2030 broadcasting rights of the World Cup. Al-Khelaifi met with Swiss prosecutors two weeks after they announced the case against him. The Qatari executive denies the allegations. The interrogation was expected to last for several hours due to translation issues and “lots of questions” during the interview, according to Andre Marty, a spokesman for the Swiss attorney general’s office. “The world of football needs to be patient as for the results of this first interrogation,” the spokesman said Wednesday. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Fox News | Wednesday, 25 october, 2017