Johannesburg - The supposed kingpin of the latest FIFA bribery and corruption scandal, Jack Warner, is accused of spending his $10m bribe from South African officials on settling a personal loan.
Warner, a former vice-president of global soccer body FIFA, was forced out of the organisation in 2011 amidst allegations of malfeasance and was last week indicted along with eight others by the US Department of Justice.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the FIFA officials orchestrated a “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted” racket to “acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks”.
The 160-page indictment details the alleged involvement of high-ranking South African officials who were mentioned in the “2010 FIFA World Cup Vote Scheme”, essentially securing South Africa as the host nation by “buying” three votes.
In information laid bare in the document, Warner is accused of spending his alleged spoils and settling a loan, and channelling hush money to others who voted in South Africa’s favour.
While the South Africans have been mentioned as co-conspirators #15 and #16, they have not been named. Nor have they been arrested or indicted.
“At one point, Co-Conspirator #1 learned that the South Africans were unable to arrange for the payment to be made directly from government funds. Arrangements were thereafter made with FIFA officials to instead have the $10m sent from FIFA - using funds that would otherwise have gone to South Africa to support the World Cup,” the document reads.
Large chunk used to settle a loan
Three payments were made between January and March in 2008 from a FIFA official which totalled $10m, wired from a FIFA account in Switzerland to accounts which Warner controlled.
Less than a week after the money was transferred, he allegedly used a large chunk to settle a loan account held in his name.
"Soon after receiving these wire transfers, the defendant caused a substantial portion of the funds to be diverted for his personal use. For example, on January 9, 2008, he directed Republic Bank officials to apply $200 000 of the $616 000 that had been transferred from FIFA one week earlier toward a personal loan account held in his name.
“The defendant also diverted a portion of the funds into his personal accounts by laundering the funds through intermediaries.
"For example, during the period from January 16, 2008 to March 27, 2008, Warner caused approximately $1.4m of the $10m to be transferred to Individual #1, a Trinidadian businessman whose identity is known to the Grand Jury, and Trinidadian Company A, a large supermarket chain in Trinidad and Tobago controlled by the former.
“Weeks later, (cheques) totalling approximately the same amount and drawn on an account held in the name of Trinidadian Company B, a real estate and investment company also controlled by Individual #1, were deposited into a bank account held in the name of Warner and a family member at First Citizens Bank in Trinidad and Tobago.”
In the three years after Warner received the $10m, he made three payments to co-Conspirator #1, totalling over $750 000, in partial payment of the $1m that he had promised as part of the bribe scheme.