U.S. judge for FIFA trials is familiar with organized crime cases

By David Ingram NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. judge presiding over the corruption cases of indicted soccer officials may not have been able to pronounce the name of soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, during a secret hearing in 2013, but he does know how to oversee a proceeding that involves organized crime.     U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie in Brooklyn, New York, has spent some of his nearly three decades on the bench handling mobster trials. A defendant was found murdered in one of the cases, and in another the head of a crime family walked the streets in a bathrobe as he faked a mental illness to try to avoid standing trial.      Now, Dearie, who turned 71 on Thursday, is responsible for presiding over the cases of nine current and former FIFA officials and five corporate sports executives who are accused of participating in a decades-long criminal enterprise that involved more than $ 150 million in bribes.

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