US Agency Distributes $92m To Victims In FIFA Corruption Case - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, June 30, 2022

US Agency Distributes $92m To Victims In FIFA Corruption Case

| The Daily Crucible | Friday, July 1, 2022

The Department of Justice(DoJ) has further distributed approximately $92 million in compensation for losses suffered by FIFA, the world organizing body of soccer; CONCACAF, the confederation responsible for soccer governance in North and Central America, among other jurisdictions; CONMEBOL, the confederation responsible for soccer governance in South America; and various constituent national soccer federations (which are collectively, the “Victims”).

The DoJ announced the distribution of the $92millipn Funds on Thursday evening.

The funds were remitted following the Justice Department’s recognition of losses and grant of remission up to a total of $201 million in August 2021.

They were forfeited to the United States in the Eastern District of New York as part of the government’s long-running investigation and prosecution of corruption in international soccer. 

The Daily Crucible reports that to date, the prosecutions have resulted in charges against more than 50 individual and corporate defendants from more than 20 countries, primarily in connection with the offer and receipt of bribes and kickbacks paid by sports marketing companies to soccer officials in exchange for the media and marketing rights to various soccer tournaments and events and the laundering of those payments.

“From the beginning of the FIFA investigation and prosecutions, one of the department’s primary goals has been to make the victims whole.

“The department has used every tool at its disposal to make this a reality, while depriving the perpetrators of the proceeds of their crimes.  This distribution of approximately $92 million as compensation for losses suffered highlights the importance of asset forfeiture as a critical tool in this endeavor," Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said. 

The Daily Crucible recalls that On May 27, 2015, the DoJ  charged 14 FIFA officials and sports marketing executives with racketeering, honest services wire fraud and money laundering offenses, among others.

Also, on December 3, 2015, additional 16 FIFA officials were charged with similar crimes. During the course of the prosecutions, 27 individual defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in the charged crimes. In December 2017, two former FIFA officials, Juan Ángel Napout, of Paraguay, and José Maria Marin, of Brazil, were convicted after trial of racketeering conspiracy and related offenses. Four corporate entities have pleaded guilty and others, including banks, have acknowledged their roles in criminal conduct through deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreements.

As part of these proceedings, many of the defendants were ordered to forfeit assets obtained through their criminal activity. Under federal law, the Department of Justice has the authority to distribute the proceeds of forfeited assets through the remission process to victims of crimes, including to the soccer organizations that employed and were defrauded by the corrupt soccer executives.

FIFA, CONCACAF, and CONMEBOL have committed to distributing funds received through the remission process, including $32.3 million previously remitted in August 2021, to and through a newly created World Football Remission Fund (the “Fund”) focused on women’s/girl’s football (soccer), education, safeguarding, youth programs, community outreach, and humanitarian needs. The Fund has been established under the FIFA Foundation, an independent foundation that uses soccer, and sport in general, as a tool for social development. The terms of the Fund provide for oversight and independent audit measures to ensure remitted funds are distributed appropriately.

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