News & Results

Firm Obtains Acquittal of Client by Federal Jury After Eight-Week Trial on Bribery Charges

  • Client Win

March 9, 2023—After a hard-fought, eight-week trial in federal court in the Eastern District of New York, Spertus, Landes & Josephs attorneys Sam Josephs, Payton Lyon, and Kirsi Luther obtained acquittals on all counts on behalf of their client, Carlos Martinez, who was charged in 2020 in a sweeping indictment arising from the FIFA bribery scandal that first became public in 2015. 

The Firm’s client, Carlos Martinez, is the former President of Fox International Channels (“FIC”) for Latin America.  After purchasing a majority interest in Fox Sports Latin America at the end of 2011, FIC owned the television broadcast rights to certain South American soccer tournaments.  The government charged Mr. Martinez with two counts – conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy – based on allegations made by a cooperating witness, Alejandro Burzaco, that Mr. Martinez knew that the contracts FIC inherited when it acquired Fox Sports were obtained through bribery and that Mr. Martinez actively furthered the bribery scheme once he became President of FIC Latin America.    The Firm spent three years litigating novel pre-trial issues and preparing to defend Mr. Martinez at trial against these charges.  After four days of jury deliberation, the Court read the verdicts of Not Guilty on every count, putting an end to the government’s eight-year investigation and prosecution effort. 

The Firm congratulates Mr. Martinez for this well-deserved verdict and applauds the trial team for this hard-fought win securing justice for Mr. Martinez and his family.

“We could not be more excited about this acquittal nor happier that Carlos walked out of court a free man,” said Firm Partner Sam Josephs. Josephs continued, “I’m proud that all our trial team’s hard work paid off for our client. Carlos and his family’s relief and joy at this acquittal is what this work is all about.”

The verdict received broad press coverage, including: