Manuel Burga, Soccer Official From Peru, Acquitted in FIFA Trial

Manuel Burga, Soccer Official From Peru, Acquitted in FIFA Trial


During jury deliberations last week Mr. Burga read historical fiction — the third book in a trilogy by the Spanish author Santiago Posteguillo, a novel about the fall of the Roman Empire.

The men on trial were the few in the case who actively fought the charges against them. More than 20 of their accused co-conspirators had pleaded guilty as a result of the investigation run by the Justice Department out of the Eastern District of New York in coordination with the F.B.I. and the Internal Revenue Service.

The government believes that power brokers in global soccer laundered hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it through the United States, as they diverted money from the sport and into their own pockets.

The schemes, federal prosecutors said, involved the corruption of lucrative broadcast and marketing rights deals for tournaments like the World Cup.

Mr. Burga was charged with racketeering conspiracy and accused of having plotted to collect $4.4 million in bribes. Prosecutors acknowledged he had not collected that money he solicited, unlike the officials with whom he stood trial.

Prosecutors described shopping sprees that Mr. Marin had taken at Chanel, Hermès and Bulgari. They displayed pictures of Mr. Napout fanning out stacks of United States currency as well as pictures of a luxury apartment by the beach in Uruguay which they said he received as a bribe.

Perhaps what strengthened Mr. Burga’s defense with the jury was that no such transactions pertained to him.

Mr. Burga had been under investigation for money laundering in Peru, prosecutors said, and he deferred collecting the bribe money he was owed they said — invoking an email he had sent to that effect — because he was mindful investigators were watching.

Mr. Burga’s wife is the manager of a small hotel in Lima, according to Mr. Burga’s lawyer.



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