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Ex-Nicaragua chief Julio Rocha pleads guilty to corruption charges

Julio Rocha of Nicaragua
Julio Rocha, middle, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.

NEW YORK -- The former head of the Nicaraguan football federation has pleaded guilty in New York in the corruption scandal that has engulfed the sport's governing body.

Julio Rocha pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy on Wednesday in federal court.

The case is part of a sprawling prosecution that triggered turmoil at FIFA, the governing body of international football.

Authorities say Rocha negotiated and accepted bribes totaling more than $150,000 linked to the sale of marketing rights.

Rocha was a FIFA development officer at the time of his arrest in May 2015. He was president of the Nicaraguan football federation from 1998 to 2012.

Rocha faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count. He also has agreed to forfeit nearly $300,000.

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