THE US Department of Justice (DOJ) is claiming that alleged bribery payments for successful FIFA World Cup bids (2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar) arrived in TT via "densely layered transactions between and among offshore accounts," including in Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands.
Some money was wired using accounts that also paid "companies based in the United States that performed work on behalf of the 2018 Russia World Cup bid,” the DOJ said.
In an Associated Press report today, the indictment, which was unsealed late Monday, said former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner received US$5 million in bribes to vote for Russia from 10 different offshore shell companies, which used correspondent accounts in the US.
Warner was first indicted in 2015 on financial corruption charges that included a separate US$10 million bribe from 2010 World Cup host South Africa. He was an influential FIFA vice president at the time of Russia’s victory against three rival European bids.
Two emails were cited in the indictment as new evidence in the sprawling investigation that first rocked FIFA and international soccer officials in May 2015.
One was written by “co-conspirator 3” in April 2011 and allegedly was sent to Warner’s assistant with advice on writing to accept receiving the “5m” total payments “minus minimal bank charges.”
The identity of No. 3 has not been made public, but the person has been described as “a close advisor” to then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter and “other high-ranking FIFA officials.”
The other email, also to Warner’s assistant, was written ahead of the FIFA vote by “an associate of co-conspirator 3.”
Warner has been fighting extradition to face racketeering conspiracy charges in the US since 2015, the same year FIFA banned him for life.