Aaron Davidson, Traffic Sports exec, pleads not guilty; raid in Argentina

A sports marketing executive from Florida has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and other charges stemming from the FIFA corruption scandal.

Aaron Davidson entered the plea through his lawyer on Friday in federal court in Brooklyn. He's the first defendant to be arraigned in a U.S. court since the case was announced earlier this week.

Davidson was among 14 people named in racketeering indictment accusing soccer officials of accepting more than $150 million in bribes. Prosecutors say they took the cash in exchange for rigging marketing contracts and the selection of the host country for the 2010 World Cup.

Davidson is president of a Miami-based Traffic Sports USA Inc.

Also on Friday, Argentine federal police and Interpol agents raided the businesses run by three Argentines who are fugitives charged in the case.

Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio ordered the raids on the sports marketing firm Tournaments and Competitions SA and on the sports media business Full Play Group SA.

Authorities are seeking Alejandro Burzaco, president of Tournaments and Competitions, and Mariano and Hugo Jinkis, owners of Full Play.

They were also named in the indictment. Argentine prosecutors later charged the three men with tax fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

The United States has requested their extradition.

A lawyer for the Jinkis, Jorge Anzorreguy, says both men are still in Argentina. Burzaco's whereabouts are unknown.