A former Fox exec faces up to 40 years in prison after Thursday’s verdict by a Brooklyn federal jury in a bribery trial that saw jurors acquit another former network official.
Hernan Lopez, the ex-CEO of Fox International Channel, was found guilty of wire fraud and money-laundering charges related to a scheme that funneled millions of dollars to soccer officials to bolster Fox’s chances of securing World Cup and other soccer media rights.
Carlos Martinez, the head of another Fox subsidiary, was acquitted at the conclusion of the same seven-week trial.
The verdict was the latest twist in a federal corruption investigation into international soccer that led to the ouster of longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter after the first indictments were unsealed in 2015.
More than 50 defendants have been charged from around the globe, with more than 30 guilty pleas by individuals and corporations.
At the same trial, Full Play Group S.A. was also convicted for its role in a conspiracy that alleged the Argentine sports marketing company paid bribes to acquire media and marketing rights for Copa America and World Cup qualifying matches. The firm, like Lopez, faces millions in financial penalties.
“The defendants cheated by bribing soccer officials to act in their own greedy interests rather than in the best interests of the sport,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace. “The verdict … reflects this office’s ongoing commitment to rooting out corruption at the highest levels.”
Fox Corp. was not implicated in the case.