FIFA Execs Caught in Dragnet

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Fourteen defendants, 47 counts of fraud and corruption spanning 24 years.

Those are the numbers behind this morning’s stunning arrest of several FIFA executives and sports marketing representatives in Switzerland.

They were gathered in Zurich ahead of Friday’s election, where Sepp Blatter is up for a fifth term as President.

However, Blatter is not among those indicted.

In a press conference this morning, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch declined to comment on Blatter’s status.

Among those arrested is CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.

While his predecessor, Jack Warner has been indicted and is the subject of an extradition request from the US.

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That’s Richard Weber, Director of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.

Weber says investigators uncovered millions of dollars in untaxed income and tens of millions hidden in offshore accounts in Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

Investigators followed the money to FIFA executives who they say solicited and collected bribes.

The trail also led to the sports marketing companies which paid them.

Loretta Lynch is the US Attorney General.

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Those indicted include incumbent CONCACAF boss Jeffrey Webb and former President and FIFA Vice President, Jack Warner.

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While Lynch did not name that executive, it’s believed she’s referring to Jack Warner.

Warner served as CONCACAF President from 1990 to 2011.

He has been implicated in numerous corruption allegations before, some dating back to the 1980s.

In 2011, FIFA’s ethics committee began official proceedings against Warner concerning at least three separate corruption and bribery charges.

FIFA suspended him pending the outcome of the investigations.

Warner resigned a month later.

In 2013, CONCACAF’s Integrity Committee published its report into the Warner-led regime, concluding that he committed fraud against both CONCACAF and FIFA.

But the corruption in regional football apparently did not end with Jack Warner.

In 2012, Webb, the President of the Cayman Islands Football Association, was elected CONCACAF president.

Many saw his ascension as a bright spot and a refreshing change for football’s governing body.

But Kelly Currie, the Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York City, today described Webb, as corrupt.

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Currie says what all the indicted officials had in common was greed.

The US Attorney General says they will be brought to justice.

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