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FIFA audit official pleads guilty to corruption charges, gets suspended

Jaclyn Jaeger | April 28, 2017

Richard Lai, a member of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of wire fraud conspiracy for his participation in multiple schemes to accept and pay bribes to soccer officials.

Lai also pleaded guilty to one count of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts and agreed to pay more than $1.1 million in forfeiture and penalties. The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, New York.

In a statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde said the plea marks another important step in the Department of Justice’s ongoing effort to root out corruption in international soccer. “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...

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