US Imagina, LLC Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Football Federations
Miami (Tuesday, July 10, 2018) - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) announced that earlier today the Honorable Pamela K. Chen, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, sentenced U.S.-based media company, US Imagina, LLC, to pay more than $6.5 million in restitution to several Concacaf member associations. The restitution arises from fraud crimes, committed by US Imagina, LLC, in which the member associations were victims.
Judge Chen imposed the sentence after US Imagina, LLC, which was previously known as MediaWorld and is a majority owned by Imagina Media Audiovisual SL of Barcelona, Spain, pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The first count charged US Imagina, LLC with paying bribes from 2012 to 2015 in connection with acquiring World Cup Qualifier media rights from various Caribbean Member Associations through a collective agreement with the Caribbean Football Union. The second count charged U.S Imagina, LLC with paying bribes from 2008 to 2015 in connection with acquiring World Cup Qualifier media rights from four Central American member associations.
“We are, again, pleased to see tangible results from the Confederation’s hard work, investment, cooperation and efforts over the past few years,” said Concacaf President Victor Montagliani. “These restitution payments would likely not have been awarded if Concacaf and our football family had not reformed ourselves. Over the past three years, we have endeavored to change the culture of football administration in our region and how we do business. We have brought our focus back to football where it should have been all along.”
Concacaf began its reform process on July 6, 2015, when the Confederation first announced its Reform Framework. Thanks to these reforms, the Confederation and the member associations in the region have been among the first entities to be able to receive such restitution awards.
Under the plea agreement, the restitution payments are as follows:
- Honduras (Federación Nacional Autónoma de Fútbol de Honduras): $1,700,000
- Guatemala (Federación Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala): $790,000
- Costa Rica (Federación Costarricense de Fútbol): $600,000
- El Salvador (Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol): $565,000
- Caribbean Football Union: $3,000,000 (in restitution for the pooled rights of various Caribbean member associations)
“We are very pleased with this development as it shows how our focus on transparency, good governance and professionalism is paying long term dividends for the Confederation and its members,” added Montagliani. “As the Confederation and the member associations continue to receive restitution of this kind for the various harms we have suffered, we look forward to working with our member associations and regional unions to direct the payments and reinvest in football and development to grow our sport.”
For more information regarding the official press release from the U.S. Department Of Justice, please click here.