NEW YORK — An Asia-based FIFA official has pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to charges relating to bribery and corruption in elections for soccer's world governing body.
Guam Football Association President Richard Lai, who is a member of FIFA's Audit and Compliance Committee and is on the Asian Football Confederation's executive board, pleaded guilty in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn on Thursday to two counts of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with multiple schemes to accept and pay bribes to soccer officials.
Lai, a U.S. citizen, also pleaded guilty to failing to disclose foreign bank accounts and agreed to pay more than $1.1 million in forfeiture and penalties. The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen.
Bridget M. Rohde, an Acting U.S. Attorney, announced the guilty plea and said it "marks another important step in our ongoing effort to root out corruption in international soccer."