Former Cayman football official pleads guilty in corruption scandal
BROOKLYN, New York (CMC):
An assistant to former CONCACAF president Jeff Webb pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy charges at a federal court in the United States on Wednesday.
Costas Takkas, a former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Federation, became the latest official to plead guilty in connection with his receipt and transmission of millions of dollars in bribes paid to Webb.
According to court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, Webb accepted a US$3-million bribe in exchange for using his influence as a football official to award and enforce a contract granting two sports marketing companies the media and marketing rights to home World Cup qualifying matches played by teams representing federations of the Caribbean Football Union during the 2018 and 2022 qualification cycles.
MINOR FIGURE IN THE CASE
The 60-year-old Takkas entered the plea more than a year after he was extradited to the United States from Switzerland, where he spent 10 months in prison, after he was among the seven officials arrested in May 2015 at a Zurich hotel two days before FIFA's presidential election.
His attorney, Gordon Mehler, said that Takkas was the only defendant who has been allowed to plead guilty to a single charge "because he is a very minor figure in this case".
Sentencing in the case has been set for September 19, and Takkas faces between 41 and 51 months in prison, but Mehler said that he would request that the British citizen, who is free on bail, not serve any more time, due to him spending most of his time in Switzerland in solitary confinement, "a very onerous detention".