Fraud Examination: 2015 FIFA Corruption
In a recent run of events, the United States federal prosecutors unveiled massive corruption cases allegedly committed by officials in the world’s soccer governing body, FIFA. FIFA officers and associates were accused of allegedly engaging in fraud, bribery and subsequent money laundering of some US$ 150 million (Traub, 2015). The Attorney General of the United States, Loretta E. Lynch, acknowledged the indictments with nine of the accused persons being FIFA officials while five of them were associate corporate executives, including two former FIFA vice presidents as well as the previous and immediate former chairspersons of CONCACAF. Seven of the defendants were arrested overseas (Department of Justice, 2015).
This paper attempts to scrutinize this scandal to come up with mechanisms that will prevent such a vise in the future. In the analysis, the essay will establish the individuals involved in the fraud and the forces which drove them into the scandal. Moreover, it will explain how the fraud was revealed, the reaction of various parties, effects of the scandal on the sport as well as mitigation measures for the future.
Indicted Individuals and Corporations
Several persons and corporations had been charged before the 27th of May, 2015 revelation. This represented the onset of many accusations that would potentially lead to the prosecution of the accused. However, most of these charges had been waivered. One of the individuals involved is Daryll Warner, who was convicted of two charges where he pleaded guilty to three-count charges in July 2013. Also, Charles Blazer, a former CONCACAF secretary general, and former FIFA executive official was convicted in November 2013. Later, José Hawilla, an owner and founder of a Brazilian sports marketing organization, was found guilty in December 2014.
Despite pleading gulity of four charges, José Hawilla’s charges were waived ( Assael and Forrest, 2016). The three individuals pleaded guilty to charges ranging from money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, structuring of financial transactions, income tax evasion racketeering, and failing to file a report to Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (Gayle, 2015). In addition to individuals, corporate indictments also followed. Among the involved corporations, there were Traffic Sports USA Inc. and Traffic Sports International Inc. with the two indictments on May 14, 2015. These two companies pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy (Assael and Forrest, 2016). Second IndictmentsIn the second - the most current and the biggest - indictments, fourteen officials were involved. Nine of these officials were FIFA administrators who doubled up as officials in either or both country and continental confederations. They included the then-FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb from the Cayman Islands who doubled up as the president of CONCACAF; Rafael Esquivel, Eduardo Li, José Maria Marin, Eugenio Figueredo, Costas Takkas, Jack Warner, and Nicolás Leoz. The remaining four were sports marketing executives namely, Aaron Davidson, Alejandro Burzaco, Hugo and Mariano Jenkins. The fourteenth official, José Margulies, was a middleman in the scam who facilitated unlawful payments between the nine FIFA officials and …