A US judge has jailed the 86-year-old former boss of Brazilian football Jose Maria Marin for four years, branding him a “cancer” on the world’s most popular sport in the sweeping FIFA corruption scandal.
Jose Marin was found guilty on December 22 in connection with nearly $6.6 million in bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for contracts to broadcast major tournaments like the Copa America and the Copa Libertadores.
He was one of seven FIFA officials arrested at a luxury hotel in Zurich on May 27, 2015, and the first defendant sentenced after being convicted at trial in the United States in connection with the scandal that disgraced world football.
In addition to sentencing him to four years behind bars, Chen ordered Marin to pay a fine of $1.2 million and return the nearly $3.4 million in bribes that he personally pocketed as part of his years of criminal dealings.
The former president of the Brazilian football federation, dressed in beige prison scrubs instead of the elegant suit he wore during his seven-week trial, cried and appeared agitated.
He said football had been his great love, but that after his 2015 arrest, it turned into “a nightmare” and his family had been living in “hell.”
Last December, Marin was convicted on six counts of racketeering, money laundering and bank fraud, and has been awaiting his sentence ever since from behind bars.
In total, 42 officials and marketing executives, as well as the sports company Traffic, were indicted with corruption crimes totaling more than $200 million.
Marin spent five months in a prison in Switzerland before being extradited to the United States.
He posted bail of $15 million and spent two years living in luxury at Trump Tower, the Fifth Avenue skyscraper best known for housing the penthouse and company headquarters of the US president.
The US investigation also precipitated the downfall of longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his former heir apparent, Michel Platini.