Traffic founder and Fifa-gate whistleblower Hawilla dies aged 74
José Hawilla, the owner and founder of Brazil-based sports agency Traffic Group, and a central figure in the Fifa-gate corruption scandal, has died.
The 74-year-old was hospitalised in São Paulo on Monday with respiratory problems, and died today, it was announced.
In 2014, Hawilla secretly pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice and agreed to forfeit over $151 million and co-operate in the US Department of Justice investigation centred on the payment of bribes and kickbacks totalling around $200 million relating to media and marketing rights to tournaments across the Americas.
He had paid back $25 million at the time of his plea.
It was Hawilla's cooperation in the DoJ investigation that led to the infamous dawn raids on the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich in May 2015 in which a number of senior soccer officials were arrested.
Over 40 individuals and entities have been indicted, and several already convicted, in the wide-ranging case.
In 1987, Hawilla landed the contract to sell the media and sponsorship rights of the Copa América, South America's national teams competition.