Ex-FIFA official pleads guilty to corruption charges

Richard Lai [Photo: Today.ng]

A former FIFA official from Guam has pleaded guilty to charges of corruption in a New York court, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Richard Lai, a former member of the audit and compliance committee at the world football governing body, admitted two counts of “wire fraud conspiracy in connection with his participation in multiple schemes to accept and pay bribes to soccer officials,” according to the attorney’s office.

The 55-year-old U.S. citizen Lai, who is president of the Guam Football Association, accepted a 100,000-dollar bribe to vote for an official from the Asian Football Confederation, AFC, in 2011.

The attorney’s office also said that between 2009-2014, Lai collected more than 850,000 dollars of bribes for activities within the Asian region.

“Today’s plea marks another important step in our ongoing effort to root out corruption in international soccer,” acting U.S. attorney Bridget Rohde said.

“The defendant abused the trust placed in him as a soccer official in order to line his own pockets, and now he will be held to account.

“The defendant’s breach of trust was particularly significant given his position as a member of the FIFA audit and compliance committee, which must play an important and independent role if corruption within FIFA is to be eliminated.”

Investigations into FIFA corruption by U.S. and Swiss authorities are ongoing.

(dpa/NAN)


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call Willie


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.