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Wondery Founder Hernan Lopez Convicted

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Wondery founder Hernan Lopez was convicted on charges that he participated in a scheme to bribe South American soccer officials to secure broadcasting rights for 21st Century Fox when he worked for Fox before launching Wondery. Lopez plans to appeal the decision.

Yahoo News reports that in 2020, prosecutors indicted Lopez and another former 21st Century Fox executive, Carlos Martinez. They alleged that they were part of a conspiracy to pay millions of dollars annually to FIFA officials in South America between 2000-15 in exchange for broadcasting rights to the Copa Libertadores club tournament as well as confidential bidding information for U.S. broadcast rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.

On Thursday, a Brooklyn jury convicted Lopez on the charges. Martinez was acquitted, according to several published reports.

Lopez had pleaded not guilty to the charges. In a statement to Variety, Lopez’s attorney, John Gleeson, said, “We’re obviously disappointed with the jury’s verdict. The proceedings have involved both legal and factual errors. We look forward to vindicating our client on appeal.”

After leaving Fox, Lopez founded Wondery in 2016. Amazon acquired Wondery in 2021 for $300 million. Lopez then left the company to focus on his Family Foundation.

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