Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, Rafael Callejas, the president of the Honduran soccer federation (FENAFUTH) from 2002 to 2015, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy in connection with his receipt of bribes in exchange for the awarding of contracts for the media and marketing rights to FIFA World Cup qualifier matches.
Callejas, who served as the President of the Republic of Honduras from 1990 to 1994, also agreed to forfeit $650,000.
At sentencing, Callejas faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for each count. Today’s plea proceeding took place before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy.
According to court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, Callejas negotiated and accepted bribes totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for his agreement to exercise his influence as the president of FENAFUTH to award contracts to Media World, a Florida sports marketing company, for the media and marketing rights to the Honduran national soccer team’s home World Cup qualifier matches for the 2014, 2018, and 2022 editions of the World Cup.
Over a period of years, Media World transmitted these bribes from its U.S. bank accounts, through an intermediary, to the foreign bank accounts of the defendant and a co-conspirator.