FIFA Bans Brazilian Soccer Official
On April 15, 2019, Jose Maria Marin, a Brazilian soccer official, was officially banned for life by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). In August 2018, the 86-year-old Marin was sentenced to four years in United States prison for racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud. According to FIFA, Marin was also guilty of taking bribes linked to media and marketing rights for South American and Brazilian soccer competitions. During his 2017 trial, federal prosecutors said that Marin received $6.6 million in bribes and was ordered to forfeit $3.3 million and pay a $1.2 million fine. In addition, the FIFA ethics committee also imposed a $1 million Swiss franc ($1 million U.S. dollar) fine.
Notably, Marin led Brazil’s organizing committee for the 2014 World Cup. However, in 2015, then U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch unveiled a complex international investigation spanning years, resulting in 47 indictment charges against 14 soccer officials and marketing executives. Following the announcement, in May 2015, Marin was arrested at a luxury Zurich, Switzerland hotel. Later, Marin was extradited to the United States, but was released on bail. For the next two years, Marin lived in a Trump Tower apartment, in Manhattan, while awaiting trial.