FBI agents bring out boxes after an operation inside the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) offices in Miami Beach, Florida May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
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In accusing football federation leaders of tarnishing the sport by taking $150 million in bribes and payoffs, U.S. prosecutors laid out a sweeping corruption case that hinges on the testimony of insiders, including some who have agreed to cooperate in plea deals.Prosecutors announced the racketeering conspiracy and other charges Wednesday against 14 defendants – nine current and former officials with global football governing body FIFA, four sports marketing executives and an accused intermediary. The fact that some guilty pleas came almost two years ago speaks to how long authorities have been gathering evidence, likely some of it from those defendants, said Alfredo F. Mendez, a former federal prosecutor who now is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer.Prosecutors outlined 12 different schemes dating to 1991, most involving marketing and media rights to various events.While the case has an international scope, prosecutors have noted that one entity at the heart of the case is headquartered in Miami, they've said some illegal transactions passed through U.S. banks, and some defendants are U.S. citizens.
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