Former FIFA Vice-President Austin Jack Warner is in more hot water as documents released yesterday from the United States district court for the Eastern District of New York are suggesting that Warner was arranging ‘bribe payments totalling US$5 million in exchange for voting in favour of Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.
This at roughly the same time that he was offering crime-fighting tips in Trinidad and Tobago as acting Prime Minister and minister of works and infrastructure.
According to the United States Department of Justice, he was at the time engaged in wire fraud, money laundering and bribery in his more illustrious portfolio as FIFA Vice-President and Concacaf and Caribbean Football Union President.
The money was allegedly sent to a republic bank account controlled by Warner, in the name of the CFU, via ‘more than two dozen separate wire transfers’ between November 2010 and April 2011.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice documents which were filed on March 18 2020, the wire transfers were sent from 10 different shell companies, all of which were registered and maintained bank accounts in offshore jurisdictions, including Cyprus, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, and were cleared through correspondent accounts located in the United States.
The shell companies used to pay Warner formed part of a broader network of shell entities used to move money through densely layered transactions between and among offshore accounts.”
The latest charges linked Warner to a ‘pattern of racketeering activity’ that range from: wire fraud, money laundering, interstate and foreign travel in-aid-of racketeering, obstruction of justice and bribery.
The former regional football boss is currently challenging extradition proceedings made by the US authorities for an array of financial crimes.