18:52 27.05.2015

U.S. Department of Justice indicts 14 for corruption, including two FIFA vice-presidents

2 min read
U.S. Department of Justice indicts 14 for corruption, including two FIFA vice-presidents

The U.S. Justice Department has published a full list of individuals and companies accused of corruption in world football, including two FIFA vice-presidents, Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo.

There are nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives involved in sport on the list, according to the Justice Department's website, who according to the department have been enriching themselves through corruption since 1996.

Seven suspects on the list were arrested by the Swiss authorities in Zurich on Wednesday morning and will be extradited to the U.S.

Beside Webb and Figueredo, current FIFA executive committee member-elect Eduardo Li, FIFA development officer Julio Rocha, and current member of the FIFA organizing committee for Olympic football tournaments José Maria Marin are accused of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery.

Another two hold official positions in football federations: attache to CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) president Costas Takkas; CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) executive committee member and Venezuelan Football Association president Rafael Esquivel.

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and former member of FIFA's executive committee Nicolas Leoz, who were also indicted, do not currently hold positions in the organization.

Four of the defendants are sports marketing executives – Alejandro Burzaco (Torneos y Competencias S.A. Company), Aaron Davidson (Traffic Sports USA Inc.), and Hugo and Mariano Jinkis (Full Play Group S.A.).

José Margulies (Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd.), who was the mediator in illegal deals between football officials and marketing executives, has also been accused.

Western media outlets have described it as a $150 million case, the figure paid in bribes and kickbacks, according to investigators.

Guilty pleas of four individuals and two corporate defendants that were revealed today include defendants Daryll and Daryan Warner, sons of defendant Jack Warner, Charles Blazer, former general secretary of CONCACAF and former U.S. representative on the FIFA executive committee; José Hawilla, the owner and founder of the Traffic Group, a multinational sports marketing conglomerate headquartered in Brazil; and two of Hawilla’s companies, Traffic Sports International Inc. and Traffic Sports USA Inc.

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