A U.S. judge has thrown out the convictions of former Fox executive and Wondery founder Hernan López and sports marketing company Full Play Group in a wide-ranging FIFA bribery and corruption case stemming from a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that had more than 40 defendants.
In March, a New York federal jury had found López and Full Play guilty for trying to bribe soccer officials in exchange for scoring broadcasting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and other soccer matches.
U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen made the ruling Friday night, September 1, also voiding the money laundering convictions of López and Full Play Group.
According to Reuters, in her 55-page decision, the judge stated that the federal law on honest services wire fraud did not apply to foreign commercial bribery and that a May 11 U.S. Supreme Court decision on an unrelated corruption case had imposed new limits on when the fraud law could be applied.
Reuters reports a spokesperson today said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is reviewing the decision, while a lawyer for López told the new agency the judge’s decision was the right one because his team never stopped believing in his innocence.