NEW YORK – A Florida businessman has pleaded guilty in New York to conspiracy charges in a scheme to pay bribes to high-ranking soccer officials in exchange for media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments and matches.
Aaron Davidson entered the plea Thursday in Brooklyn federal court. He could face decades in prison at an April 24 sentencing. As part of his plea he agreed to forfeit more than a half-million dollars.
The 45-year-old Davidson was arrested last year in the FIFA (FEE'-fuh) probe after prosecutors said soccer officials accepted $150 million in bribes over a 24-year period in exchange for rigging bids for lucrative marketing rights. Davidson ran a Miami-based marketing firm. He was arrested along with more than a dozen other people.
Prosecutors say Davidson agreed to make bribe payments totaling more than $14 million.