The AML and Racketeering Case Against FIFA Continues to Build

In May 2015, fourteen people from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) were indicted following a wire fraud, racketeering and money-laundering investigation led by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Internal Revenue Services, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI).

On Monday, September 14, 2015, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her Swiss counterpart held a press conference discussing their separate investigations of the issue, releasing new information on the case.

The South China Morning Post has highlighted some interesting statistics that arose from the press conference:

  • There are currently 121 suspicious acts being examined by Swiss prosecutors for potential money-laundering
  • In a 2005 deal signed by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, the soccer organization charged its then-VP, Jack Warner, $600,000 for TV rights in the Caribbean for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups
  • Warner, then, sublicensed the rights to a family company and sold them for up to $20 million
  • Currently, there are 11 terabytes of data being analysed in relation to the Swiss case
  • The number of persons indicted will most likely rise from 14 as the investigations continue
  • In addition to those indicted, 4 FIFA officials have already pleaded guilty
  • US authorities have requested the extradition of 6 men indicted in the case
  • Those named in the US indictment will face 20 years in prison

These statistics highlight the necessity for organisations of all kinds to protect themselves from potential fraud and money laundering risks.

Hugh Jones, Accuity’s President and CEO, was recently interviewed by CFO Innovation, in a related article on the FIFA scandal, in which he discussed how to identify who the ‘bad guys’ are and why you should think twice before doing business with them. To read more on the topic, take a look at ‘Governance: Staying Away from the FIFA Scandal and Politically Exposed Persons‘.