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Former chief Burzaco exits Torneos as rebuilding process continues

Torneos has confirmed that former chief executive Alejandro Burzaco has divested himself of his remaining equity interest in the Argentinian media group and sports-rights agency and is no longer a shareholder of the company.

The announcement comes after Torneos in December agreed a deal with US prosecutors to pay $112.8m (€105.1m) to settle charges in relation to the US Department of Justice’s investigation into corruption in football.

As part of the deferred prosecution agreement, Torneos agreed to forfeit $89m and pay a $23.76m penalty. A charge of one count of wire fraud conspiracy will be dropped if the company abides by the terms of the agreement for four years.

The company was also ordered to implement new internal compliance and accounting controls. Prosecutors had claimed that Torneos paid bribes and kickbacks to top football officials over a 15-year period in order to secure media and marketing rights.

Torneos said today: “Since late May 2015, Burzaco has not played any role in the management or operations of Torneos.”

The statement added: “The DoJ agreed not to pursue a prosecution of Torneos based on its ‘full’ and ‘substantial’ cooperation with the DoJ investigation, and its ‘extensive’ efforts to implement a state-of-the-art compliance programme.

“Torneos has agreed to continue to cooperate with the DoJ. As acknowledged in the December 2016 Deferred Prosecution Agreement between Torneos and the DoJ, since June 2015, Torneos general manager Ignacio Galarza and his ‘new leadership team’ have established a new ‘tone at the top’ and ensured that a culture of compliance has taken hold at the company.

“Torneos operates in accordance with all applicable laws and with transparency to relevant authorities. Torneos’ resolution with the DoJ and the divestiture of Burzaco’s shares are two important steps in Torneos’ remediation process.”