New York–Costas Takkas, an aide to former Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) President Jeffrey Webb, has been handed a 15 month prison sentence for his part the corruption scandal rocking international professional football (FIFA).
Takkas had worked as a Concacaf accountant and was formerly secretary general of the Cayman Islands Football Association. The 60-year-old British citizen pleaded guilty in May to money laundering conspiracy in the US proceedings that have charged more than 40 football officials, marketing executives, associates and entities.
Takkas will serve five months behind bars after being given credit for 10 months already served in Switzerland. “I should have known better than to take actions that I did,” he said, according to the Associated Press news agency, before hearing his sentence in federal court in Brooklyn.
Takkas was accused of laundering $3 million in bribes from marketing firms to then-Concacaf president Webb, who has pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and is awaiting sentencing.
Prosecutors have said around $500,000 was falsely listed as a wedding gift that paid for a swimming pool at Webb’s house in Loganville, Georgia, and for a $50,000 painting. Takkas also drew up false contracts to conceal the bribes, they said.
At sentencing, defence attorney Gordon Mehler said Webb was an “arch-liar” who manipulated his client to enrich only himself. In arguing that Takkas should receive no further prison time, Mehler said his client “was a bag man, and he never got compensation for it.”
The Takkas verdict comes after Hector Trujillo, the former general secretary of the Football Federation of Guatemala, last week became the first person to be sentenced. Trujillo, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges in June, was sentenced to eight months in prison. US District Judge Pamela Chen also ordered $415,000 in restitution at the hearing in Brooklyn.