Imagina US, LLC – a TV production company for the US Hispanic and Latin America markets owned by Spain-based Imagina Media – pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with the participation of two of its senior executives in schemes to pay more than $6.5 million in bribes to high-ranking Caribbean and Central American soccer officials.
According to the US Justice Department, the company agreed to pay more than $24 million in fines as part of a plea deal. Pursuant to the non-prosecution agreement it entered in federal court on Tuesday, July 10, “Imagina Media has accepted responsibility for its criminal conduct and that of its subsidiary Imagina US, and has also accepted responsibility for its failure to conduct a prompt internal investigation upon learning of the allegations against its agents in the First Indictment.”
That indictment took place in 2015 and resulted in guilty pleas from former Imagina executives Roger Huguet and Fabio Tordin.
As part of the deal, Imagina US agreed to forfeit $5,279,000 in criminal proceeds and was sentenced to pay the following:
- $12,883,320 in fines, which Imagina Media agreed to pay on behalf of Imagina US pursuant to the non-prosecution agreement
- $3 million in restitution to the Caribbean Football Union
- $1.7 million in restitution to the Honduran soccer federation
- $790,000 in restitution to the Guatemalan soccer federation
- $600,000 in restitution to the Costa Rican soccer federation
- $565,000 in restitution to the Salvadoran soccer federation
Imagina US issued a release about the resolution of the case and deal, in which it states:
“The disposition resolves allegations against the company that have been a matter of public record since the DOJ unsealed a Superseding Indictment in December 2015 in its investigation relating to FIFA. At that time, the company learned that Roger Huguet and Fabio Tordin, former executives at the company’s U.S. affiliate, had pled guilty to their role in the scheme, and that a former senior executive of the company was alleged to have been involved. All three have been terminated and have not been involved in the management of Imagina Group or any of its subsidiaries since December 2015. An extensive internal investigation confirmed that responsibility for the misconduct in this matter was limited to the actions of these three individuals.”
A history of the case and full details of the agreement with the DOJ can be found here.