Alfredo Hawit, the former vice president of FIFA, is among dozens of soccer officials and sports advertising executives accused in a sprawling indictment alleging they took portion in a 24-year scheme to trade a lot more than $200 million of bribes for tournament media rights.
The fallout from the initial charges unveiled virtually a year ago continues to spread with FIFA’s secretary general Jerome Valcke becoming stripped of his title earlier Wednesday. Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, who oversaw FIFA for 17 years, and European soccer boss Michel Platini had been banned for eight years over an unauthorized payment of two million Swiss francs ($two million).
Twelve men and women secretly pleaded guilty prior to a new indictment was unsealed on Dec. 3. The case was very first created public in May perhaps.
Hawit, 64, was one particular of two FIFA officials arrested in December when Swiss police moved at dawn into the Baur au Lac, a Zurich luxury hotel. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday via his attorney Justin Weddle.
U.S. prosecutors have charged top rated soccer officials across Central and South America with racketeering, corruption and cash laundering, bringing its investigation of bribery and kickbacks just quick of the highest rungs of the sport’s governing body.
Allegations of bribery touched existing and former soccer chiefs from Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Peru.
Hawit, who was also the head of Concacaf, soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, is accused of accepting and laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes from 2008 to 2014 when he was the common secretary of the Honduran soccer federation.
He allegedly took $250,000 in bribes in exchange for awarding media rights to a South American sports advertising and marketing business when he was the acting president of Concacaf. He’s also accused of conspiring to obstruct justice.
Prosecutors mentioned in a letter filed with the court on Wednesday that he poses a “serious risk of flight” and really should only be permitted to remain absolutely free “pursuant to a substantial, heavily secured bond signed by a quantity of financially responsible sureties.”
Prosecutors mentioned they had been looking for a bond of at least $4 million secured by at least $500,000 in money or real estate in the U.S.
“The defendant is an attorney and prominent citizen of Honduras, where his wife and most of his children reside and where he owns a considerable quantity of true property and corporations,” prosecutors stated in the letter. He “has important and strong contacts abroad and has often traveled all about the planet.”
In court on Wednesday, Weddle told U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Levy that his client is unable to meet the bail terms requested by the government. Weddle asked for a $1 million bond, and for Hawit to remain under residence arrest with family members in Florida.
“The defendant is not a wealthy defendant,” he said.
Hawit, who has been in custody in Switzerland, suffers from pancreatitis, Weddle mentioned. The prison diet has been tough for Hawit, Weddle mentioned.
Levy stated Wednesday Hawit will remain in custody. Prosecutors and the defense lawyer are anticipated to return to court later this week to see if they can attain an agreement.
The case is U.S. v. Webb, 1:15-cr-252, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).