January 13, 2023

Peter Baldwin Discusses Upcoming FIFA Bribery Case With Law360

In “FIFA Bribe Prosecutors Face Tougher Odds as 2nd Trial Starts,” Law360 reported on three defendants facing trial for supposedly paying off officials of South American soccer’s organizing body for the rights to broadcast major tournaments. The publication spoke to white collar defense and investigations partner Peter Baldwin for his insight on the matter.

While two international soccer bosses were convicted of making the same bribes five years ago, Baldwin noted that the three defendants in this case likely have a better shot at winning. He explained that while the last jury was faced with the suspects’ massive, personal monetary gains, prosecutors don’t have that kind of evidence this time.

“Jurors understand unjust enrichment,” Baldwin said. “A defendant who has been arguably unjustly enriched is not appealing to the average juror, and I just think it’s harder when you’re trying to prove the other side of the transaction. Not impossible, obviously, but I think more difficult.”

Baldwin added that the defense lawyers in this case are also in a better position than their counterparts from five years ago because a number of cooperating witnesses from the 2017 trial will be taking the stand for a second time. “That’s an advantage for the defense,” he explained. “While the testimony is unlikely to be exactly the same here, I do think it offers up an ability to see how that witness did and where you can poke holes.”

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