13 November 2020
Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez are two former Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox TV executives charged with money laundering and wire fraud over alleged bribes involving broadcasting rights to the World Cup and other high profile soccer tournaments. Lopez has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed in March.

Carlos Martinez was former president of Fox Latin America. Hernan Lopez, was previously head of Fox International Channels, a division of 21st Century Fox. Both were arraigned for their alleged involvement in bribery schemes for lucrative broadcast rights to the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups as well as the Copa Libertadores, South America’s biggest club competition.

The alleged scheme occurred during Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of 21st Century Fox. He sold the company to Disney for $71bn in March 2019.

Both were granted bail set at $15m, with an evening curfew and international travel bans also imposed.

Argentine-born Lopez left the company in 2016 and founded Wondery, later receiving financial backing from Fox and other investors. Wondery had a U.S. audience of more than 8 million listeners in October, making it the sixth largest podcasting publisher in the country, according to Podtrac.

The US justice department’s investigation into corruption in world football’s governing body, Fifa, was announced at dawn raid in July 2015.

Twenty-six individuals have pleaded guilty as part of the investigation, with two former South American administrators found guilty at trial in 2017.