Jose Margulies, center, leaves federal court following his sentencing, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough New York. (Photo: AP)
A federal judge in Brooklyn sentenced Brazilian broadcast executive Jose Margulies to two years’ probation on Tuesday for acting as an intermediary in a scheme to exchange bribes for the media rights to South American soccer tournaments.
Margulies participated in a “massive worldwide conspiracy” between 1991 and 2015 in which he facilitated $80 million in bribes to soccer officials, said Judge Pamela K. Chen. “This is a serious crime.”
His conduct was part of the FIFA scandal, which “destroyed the credibility of professional soccer,” noted Chen.
The judge also barred Margulies, 80, from working in sports, television and marketing. He has already paid more than $9 million in forfeiture to the government.
Margulies was immune from extradition while living in Brazil but nonetheless came to the US and cooperated with investigators.
“I knew that what I was doing was wrong,” said Margulies, adding that he has nobody to blame but himself.