FIFA Officials Arrested on Corruption Charges; Face Extradition to U.S. (via NYT)

jpzx

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FIFA Officials Arrested on Corruption Charges; Face Extradition to U.S.

By MATT APUZZO, MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and SAM BORDENMAY 26, 2015

View media item 1551273

FIFA, a multibillion-dollar organization that governs soccer but has been plagued by accusations of bribery for decades, had several top officials arrested early Wednesday.


ZURICH — Swiss authorities began an extraordinary early-morning operation here Wednesday to arrest several top soccer officials and extradite them to the United States on federal corruption charges.

As leaders of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, gathered for their annual meeting, more than a dozen plain-clothed Swiss law enforcement officials arrived unannounced at the Baur au Lac hotel, an elegant five-star property with views of the Alps and Lake Zurich.

The officers went to the registration desk to get keys, then headed upstairs toward the hotel rooms.

The charges allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals, according to three law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the case. The charges include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering. Prosecutors planned to unseal an indictment soon against more than 10 officials, not all of whom are in Zurich, law enforcement officials said.

The arrests were a startling blow to FIFA, a multibillion-dollar organization that governs the world’s most popular sport but has been plagued by accusations of bribery for decades.

The inquiry is also a major threat to Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s longtime president who is generally recognized as the most powerful person in sports, though he was not charged. An election, seemingly pre-ordained to give him a fifth term as president, is scheduled for Friday.

The case is the most significant yet for United States Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, who took office last month. She previously served as the United States attorney in Brooklyn, where she supervised the FIFA investigation.

With more than $1.5 billion in reserves, FIFA is as much a global financial conglomerate as a sports organization. With countries around the world competing aggressively to win the bid to host the World Cup, Mr. Blatter has commanded the fealty of anyone who wanted a piece of that revenue stream. He and FIFA have weathered corruption controversies in the past, but none involved charges of federal crimes in United States court.

United States law gives the Justice Department wide authority to bring cases against foreign nationals living abroad, an authority that prosecutors have used repeatedly in international terrorism cases. Those cases can hinge on the slightest connection to the United States, like the use of an American bank or Internet service provider.

Switzerland’s treaty with the United States is unusual in that it gives Swiss authorities the power to refuse extradition for tax crimes, but on matters of general criminal law, the Swiss have agreed to turn people over for prosecution in American courts.

The case further mars the reputation of FIFA’s leader, Mr. Blatter, who has for years acted as a de facto head of state. Politicians, star players, national soccer officials and global corporations that want their brands attached to the sport have long genuflected before him.

Critics of FIFA point to the lack of transparency regarding executive salaries and resource allocations for an organization that, by its own admission, had revenue of $5.7 billion from 2011 to 2014. Policy decisions are also often taken without debate or explanation, and a small group of officials — known as the executive committee — operates with outsize power. FIFA has for years operated with little oversight and even less transparency. Alexandra Wrage, a governance consultant who once unsuccessfully attempted to help overhaul FIFA’s methods, famously labeled the organization “byzantine and impenetrable.”

Michael S. Schmidt and Sam Borden reported from Zurich, Switzerland; Matt Apuzzo from Washington; and William K. Rashbaum from New York.
Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/27/s...cials-face-corruption-charges-in-us.html?_r=0
 
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jpzx

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The Associated Press @AP 1m
BREAKING: Swiss authorities: 6 soccer officials arrested, suspected of getting, paying millions in bribes

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport 3m
FIFA officials arrested in Zurich on corruption charges, will be extradited to the United States ble.ac/1JVakB1

Michael S. Schmidt @MichaelSSchmidt 34m
FIFA execs not being led out in handcuffs. Very peaceful. Hotel staff meanwhile is freaking out.
 
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I mean cmon ******* Qatar was awarded the world cup. QATAR B. Yall know how hot Qater is during the summer? Once that happened I knew this **** was rigged.
 

RustyShackleford

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These clowns used US banks to move their bribbery money. Then rob the US of a World Cup and give it to Qatar.

And word is the DOJ got evidence tracking all the the way back to the early 90s

Lawd how ******* stupid can you be :lol:
 
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Finally!!!

But I guess this means that the USA is never getting the WC again :lol:

I think you read the article wrong.

Just read this part again...

United States law gives the Justice Department wide authority to bring cases against foreign nationals living abroad, an authority that prosecutors have used repeatedly in international terrorism cases. Those cases can hinge on the slightest connection to the United States, like the use of an American bank or Internet service provider.

Switzerland’s treaty with the United States is unusual in that it gives Swiss authorities the power to refuse extradition for tax crimes, but on matters of general criminal law, the Swiss have agreed to turn people over for prosecution in American courts.


In Layman's terms, Switzerland has an agreement (treaty) with the United States to send foreign criminal charges through the US Courts. Irregardless of the case, Switzerland knows the US courts system is better equipped to deal with foreign criminal cases.

I doubt any US citizens were involved in this issue. If so we would've gotten a World Cup years ago or atleast within 10 years from now.

All in all, it's about time FIFA has been charged with corruption and criminal behavior...
 

jpzx

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@SportsCenter: Officials tell @ABC that indictments will focus on allegations of bribery & corruption in connection w/ awarding of 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

View media item 1551407
 

RustyShackleford

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Finally!!!

But I guess this means that the USA is never getting the WC again :lol:

I think you read the article wrong.

Just read this part again...

United States law gives the Justice Department wide authority to bring cases against foreign nationals living abroad, an authority that prosecutors have used repeatedly in international terrorism cases. Those cases can hinge on the slightest connection to the United States, like the use of an American bank or Internet service provider.

Switzerland’s treaty with the United States is unusual in that it gives Swiss authorities the power to refuse extradition for tax crimes, but on matters of general criminal law, the Swiss have agreed to turn people over for prosecution in American courts.


In Layman's terms, Switzerland has an agreement (treaty) with the United States to send foreign criminal charges through the US Courts. Irregardless of the case, Switzerland knows the US courts system is better equipped to deal with foreign criminal cases.

I doubt any US citizens were involved in this issue. If so we would've gotten a World Cup years ago or atleast within 10 years from now.

All in all, it's about time FIFA has been charged with corruption and criminal behavior...
http://screamer.deadspin.com/reports-justice-department-brings-the-goddamn-hammer-d-1707109298

The second grey highlighted passage is what I'm referring too

Seems like the DOJ is gonna give to dem wit no vaseline from all angles, Qatar is probably just the smoking gun. I won't be surprised if by the end of this they label Fifa a ongoing criminal organization.

Blatter better get his tail to Russia asap, before his boys start snitchin and trying to cut deals
 
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jpzx

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View media item 1551452
NYT: "The indictment names 14 people on charges including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. In addition to senior soccer officials, the indictment is also expected to name sports-marketing executives from the United States and South America who are accused of paying more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for media deals associated with major soccer tournaments, according to one government official briefed on the matter."

@NYTSports: Indictment cites bribes, kickbacks related to: WC quals in Concacaf; Gold Cup, Concacaf Champions Lg.; Copa América; Copa Libertadores

@cnnbrk: We are seeking clarity on the situation,” #FIFA spokesman tells CNN about arrests of officials.

@nytimes: Officials said the FIFA investigation is ongoing and Sepp Blatter was not yet cleared of wrongdoing http://t.co/UvAGnwLXJ0
 
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Good news but.....Won't believe the next steps (convictions, serious jail time, reforms, whatever) until I see it.
 

jpzx

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@darrenrovell: Attorney General Loretta Lynch alleges there was $110 million in bribes to get the Copa America to the U.S. in 2016 alone

@darrenrovell: U.S. attorney general says there has been $150 million forfeited already in FIFA case. No telling what final # could be.

@darrenrovell: "This is the beginning of our effort, not the end." -- Kelly Currie, acting U.S. attorney, Eastern District of NY on FIFA charges
 
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Too bad they can go after banks or Wall St. This all a dog and pony show. Makes people think they are "cracking" down on corruption.
 
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