Dec. 26 (UPI) -- The former president of Peru's soccer federation was acquitted Tuesday of corruption related to the FIFA bribery scandal after a jury that convicted two other men failed to reach a unanimous decision.
A jury in Brooklyn, N.Y., told U.S. District Court Judge Pamela Chen it was deadlocked in the case against Manuel Burga. The judge dismissed Burga's lone racketeering conspiracy charge.
Burga was charged with racketeering conspiracy after allegedly plotting to collect $4.4 million in bribes. But prosecutors said he had not collected that money he solicited because he deferred collecting the bribe money because he knew he was under investigation for money laundering in Peru.
During Burga's trial, a mistrial almost was declared because he allegedly made a throat-slitting motion to a witness called by the prosecution. But Burga's lawyer said the gesture was for a skin condition.
On Friday, the jury convicted two other men before taking a Christmas break. Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, the former top soccer official of South America, was found guilty of racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy for allegedly accepting $10.5 million in bribes since 2010. Jose Maria Marin, who was the former top soccer official of Brazil, was found guilty on six counts of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy after allegedly accepting $6.55 million in bribes.
More than 20 other accused co-conspirators have pleaded guilty following a Justice Department investigation between the FBI and the IRS.
Investigators said officials laundered hundreds of millions of dollars, often through the United States, from the sport to themselves since 2015. Included were the awarding of broadcast and marketing rights deals for tournaments, including the World Cup.
After several officials were arrested, Sepp Blatter resigned as FIFA president.