November 24 – The son of disgraced former Ecuador FA president Luis Chiriboga (pictured) has testified against his father in the FIFAgate corruption trial in New York, admitting he facilitated bribery payments.
José Chiriboga, son of Luis Chiriboga, gave an emotional account of how he laundered $2.8 million for his father, who is under house arrest in Quito after receiving a 10-year sentence for corruption.
“This is the hardest moment of my life,” said Chiriboga, a football agent, recalling how his father, had told him: “Sorry, son, I destroyed your life.”
Chiriboga testified that his father asked him to use his account at Biscayne Bank in a Miami suburb to receive wire transfers. “It was my father asking. I couldn’t say no,” he said.
According to agency reports, Chiriboga told the court he was in Amsterdam when the first indictments took place following the US-orchestrated dawn raids on senior football officials staying at Zurich’s Baur au Lac hotel in May 2015 and said he thought to himself, “I’m screwed.”
He said that with the scandal weighing on him and having been detained by US agents at Los Angeles airport, he agreed to testify in exchange for not being prosecuted. “Ever since May 27, 2015, FIFA-gate has been in my head 23 hours a day,” he said.
Chiriboga’s father is among more than 40 individuals and entities indicted by the United States Justice Department in the $200 million corruption probe. He was appearing at the trial of former South American powerbrokers Jose Marin (Brazil), Manuel Burga (Peru) and Juan Angel Napout (Paraguay) who have all pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and money-laundering.
Chiriboga said it was difficult to testify in front of the three defendants, whom he had known for years and had attended games with.
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