Reuters reports that Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez have been accused of on wire fraud and money laundering charges along with Gerard Romy, former co-chief executive of Spanish media company Imagina Media Audiovisual, and Full Play Group, an Uruguayan sports marketing company.
Reuters notes that prosecutors said for the first time in the indictment on Monday, April 6 that FIFA officials took bribes in connection with choosing Qatar and Russia to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively. Those allegations do not involve any of the newly charged defendants. According to the indictment, Lopez served as CEO of a Latin American Fox subsidiary, while Martinez served as its president. They worked with Full Play to bribe officials at CONMEBOL, the South American soccer federation, in exchange for rights to events including the Copa Libertadores club tournament.
Meanwhile, Romy is accused of taking part in a scheme to bribe officials of the Caribbean Football Union and Central American Football Union to secure rights to World Cup qualifying matches. The alleged conduct occurred before Walt Disney Co acquired most of 21st Century Fox Inc in 2019.
Reuters says that more than 40 people and entities have been charged in the case since 2015 and 26 people have pleaded guilty. The former CONMEBOL head Juan Angel Napout, of Paraguay, and former Brazilian soccer chief Jose Maria Marin were convicted after a trial in 2017 and sentenced to prison.
The US investigation began in 2015.