"If we all go to jail, it is a risk to our business": four eavesdropping involving the Argentine defendants at the FIFA Gate

On the fifth anniversary of the raid on the Baur Au Lac hotel in Zurich, where several of the South American leaders involved in the scandal of the FIFA Gate In a joint operation by the Swiss security and the FBI, in the so-called "Operation Darwin", seven of those involved are born in Argentina, the country with the most protagonists engaged in a mega-cause of bribes by media companies to former leaders of the Conmebol to stay, at a low price, with televising rights of different tournaments such as World Cups or Copa America until 2023.

Alejandro Burzaco, former CEO of Tournaments and Competitions (now Tournaments), who sold his shares and paid a total of $ 31.6 million ($ 20 million bail for house arrest in New York and then another 10 for not continuing to use the electronic anklet ), is awaiting trial by the Court in charge of Judge Pamela Chen. He accepted, in the course of the trial, to collaborate with the cause in the hope that in this way his sentence will be reduced.

Hugo Jinkins and his son Mariano, shareholders of the company "Full Play", are in Buenos Aires after the late judge Claudio Bonadío denied their extradition to the United States and granted them freedom on condition that they do not move more than 60 kilometers from the headquarters from the court and not to be absent for more than 24 hours without giving notice to the Court.

The former secretary general of Conmebol, Eduardo Deluca, leader of Defensores de Belgrano and closely related to the late AFA president Julio Grondona, has been under house arrest since late 2015, disabled for life to hold positions in the world of soccer dependent on FIFA. As with the Jinkis, Bonadío denied his extradition to the United States.

José Luis Meiszner, lawyer, who was in charge of the Copa América 2011 played in Argentina, became executive secretary of Grondona in the AFA, in addition to the fact that the stadium of his club, Quilmes, was designated by his name until in August 2016 , the authorities decided to call it "Centenario" again. He was also banned for life from holding positions in the field of FIFA soccer and in February 2018, Judge Luis Armelia denied an extradition request to the United States. He was in house arrest since December 2015 but in 2016 he was released.

José Margulies, an Argentine resident in Brazil, was part of the network of corruption representing the Traffic company, along with the late José Hawilla. Earlier this year, he was sentenced to two years on probation, for which he had to pay a $ 9.2 million fine.

Hernán López was, along with the Mexican Carlos Martinez, one of the two highest-ranking executives at Fox Sports and according to the United States Department of State, used bribes to use the Copa Libertadores rights for his company and await the ruling in their cases.


This is the last known wiretap following the case of the Israeli bank Hapoalim, which decided to collaborate with the cause recognizing that the entity's managers were involved in the payment of bribes from the media companies to former leaders of Conmebol.

Dialogue between the call "Co-Conspirator number 1" for the Prosecutor of the Eastern District of New York (Uruguayan, manager and during the summer months head of the Punta del Este branch at Banco Hapoalim de América Latina, BHAL who knew that through this entity bribes were paid to leaders of the South American football from those accounts) and his wife, which occurred on May 27, 2015 and refer to Hugo Jinkis, Argentine businessman from “Full Play” and Eugenio Figueredo, Uruguayan, former president of Conmebol (2013-2014) and of the Association Uruguaya de Fútbol (1997-2006), prosecuted in December 2015 for a repeated crime of fraud in real repetition with a continuing crime of money laundering in Uruguay.

Wife: – Hello

CC1: – What happens?

AND: – Hello

CC1: – I'm screwed up

AND: – Than?

CC1: – I'm screwed up

AND: – Ufff

CC1: – Listens

AND: – I am listening to you

CC1: – Did you see what I was saying? Today I was looking at a FIFA thing (you can't tell), right?

AND: – No, you said … I heard that they sued six.

CC1: – Yes, six from FIFA

AND: – For…

CC1: – Eugenio Figueredo (cannot be discerned)

AND: – Yes

CC1: – And the one caught in the mess is Hugo.

AND: – Seriously?

CC1: – And … As there were wiretaps, the US government and … can you imagine! It was on the news, I don't know in which newspaper he and he (can't be discerned)

AND: – With their names?

CC1: – With the names

AND: – Noooo

CC1: – So, it seems to me that I am going to dedicate myself to my ranch

AND: – Yes, but the fault … He is not involved in this great disaster

C1: – In money laundering, yes. In helping money laundering, somehow because it is … Let's say they are accused of corruption, of receiving bribes.

AND: – yes

CC1: – And the bribes were given by (cannot be discerned)

AND: – Ahhhh

CC1: – Part of the bribes, right?

AND: – Of course, yes, because they said there that it was, including things, what was that? The chronicles too

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CC1: – As soon?

AND: – Hmmmmm

CC1: – I will warn you that yesterday, the Swiss Compliance department, after three months, authorized the seizure of an account linked to FIFA.


José María Marín, former head of the Brazilian Football Confederation
José María Marín, former head of the Brazilian Football Confederation

Dinner Jose hawilla (already deceased, owner of the Brazilian company “Traffic”) and José María Marín, President of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the April 30, 2014 (The New York Attorney's Office made her listen to the TV rights businessman at the trial):

Marín was elected president of the CBF in March 2012, just over two years from the World Cup that Brazil would organize, and due to the unexpected resignation of Ricardo Texeira, former son-in-law of the former FIFA president and also Brazilian, Joao Havelange. Marín took over because he was the oldest on the CBF board, as indicated by the entity's regulations.

Before the FIFA-Gate, Hawilla had already been caught in Miami Beach in May 2013, when FBI agents arrived at the luxurious Mandarin hotel and woke him up to ask him if he paid bribes to South American soccer leaders to obtain benefits on the TV rights of different soccer competitions. The Brazilian businessman denied it, but after a short time he was arrested for obstruction of Justice and then decided to cooperate to uncover the corruption plot, secretly placing an engraver to record dialogues with his peers about what was investigated.

José Hawilla: – We have arranged everything

José M. Marín: – Yes, we are talking about everything. Yes, with them. The conversation with them went very well. It has been very good (…) We have arranged everything (Hawilla had asked him if he had already arranged the bribes for the Copa América with the executives of “Full Play” by Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, and Tournaments). Marín then says that they also “arranged” payments with the company “Klefer”, from the Brazilian Kleber Leite, for the rights to the Brazilian Cup, which they shared with their partner “Traffic”.

Later, Marín asks Hawilla to help him know exactly how much he is receiving in bribes and what happens that the money has not yet arrived.

JMM: -Yes, that's what I want (…) to give me that information. Marín is like that.

JH: -Is it necessary to give Ricardo a million? Tell me (about the bribe of one million reais per year ($ 450,000) for the Brazil Cup, although Texeira no longer presided over the CBF.

JMM: -I think, and pay attention, what we have already done and what we are doing, shit. It is time for him to come for us, right? (The evidence showed that for the Brazilian Cup, in addition to the million reais for Texeira, another million was shared by Marín and the vice president of the CBF, Marco Polo Del Nero).

José Hawilla, who was facing a possible sentence of 80 years in prison, ended up signing a cooperation agreement with the New York Prosecutor's Office in December 2014, although in May 2013 he had verbally agreed to cooperate with the FBI, despite which, a A month later, he paid $ 10 million in bribes from the Copa América, as part of the Datisa company in which he was associated with the Jinkis' "Full Play" and "Tournaments."

When questioned in court for this procedure, Hawilla stated that it was "an error."


Burzaco, former CEO of Tournaments
Burzaco, former CEO of Tournaments

As an FBI mole, José Hawilla (who records the conversation) talks with the former CEO of "Torneos", Alejandro Burzaco, who, accompanied by Mariano Jinkis, from "Full Play", tells him How would the distribution of bribes paid by them to obtain the transmission rights be?. How much for each leader and how much for each president. When reference is made to the "honest president" it is by Sebastián Bauzá, former head of the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) and currently, Secretary of Sports for Uruguay, who never accepted the bribes.

AB: -500 thousand dollars to the secretary general and a million and a half for seven presidents.

JH: -For all seven?

AB: -Seven presidents, a million and a half. Because there is a country to which we do not give anything.

JH: -Why?

AB: -Because he's honest and now he's just been fired.

MJ: – They just kicked him out because he's the only one.

AB: – So we never gave him anything. We save that.


Alejandro Burzaco and Hugo Jinkis (“Full Play”) dialogue with José Hawilla who asks them what can happen if they are discovered.

JH: – Who can be harmed?

AB: -What do you mean? With this contract? With this matter? Everybody.

JH: – Who can be harmed by this? Someone? Can Conmebol suffer any harm?

AB: -We can all be harmed. Everybody. Tomorrow a money laundering agency comes from Buenos Aires, or from Brazil, or from the DEA, and they say “what are those payments? That has no consistency. " And he begins to track … Let's all go to jail. Everyone, everyone. He, you …

HJ: -It is the risk of our business.


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