8/22/2018 9:10:23 PM

Brazilian former football boss jailed four years in US

Brazilian former football boss jailed four years in US

New York: A US federal judge on Wednesday sentenced Jose Maria Marin, the 86-year-old former head of the Brazilian football federation, to four years in an American prison over the massive FIFA corruption scandal.

Marin was found guilty on December 22 in connection with nearly $6.6 million in bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for contracts to broadcast major tournaments like the Copa America and the Copa Libertadores.

He was one of seven FIFA officials arrested at a luxury hotel in Zurich on May 27, 2015, and one of only two defendants convicted at trial in the United States in connection with the scandal that disgraced world football.

US Judge Pamela Chen said in Brooklyn federal court that Marin was "a cancer" that corrupted the world's most popular sport, both at home in Brazil and across the planet.

"He could have and should have said no," she said at the sentencing hearing.

Marin cried and was very agitated during the proceedings, before calming down.

The former president of the Brazilian football federation was convicted on six counts of racketeering, money laundering and bank fraud, and has been awaiting his sentence ever since from behind bars.

US prosecutors had asked Chen to impose a sentence of 10 years in prison and a $6.6 million fine. Citing his age and frail health, his defense attorneys sought a sentence of just 13 months.

Marin spent five months in a prison in Switzerland before being extradited to the United States.

He posted bail of $15 million and spent two years living in luxury at Trump Tower, the Fifth Avenue skyscraper best known for housing the penthouse and company headquarters of the US president.

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