New York - A son of former FIFA executive Jack Warner secretly agreed in 2013 to co-operate with U.S. authorities and admit to participating in a World Cup ticket-reselling scheme, according to a court transcript released on Monday.
The transcript confirmed that Daryan Warner, like his brother Daryll, had agreed to assist U.S. authorities as part of separate plea deals. The transcript, ordered to be released by a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, contained Daryan Warner's guilty plea.
Both men are sons of Jack Warner, who was among 14 individuals indicted for engaging in a corruption scheme at FIFA that authorities said involved more than $150 million in bribes.
The transcript showed that in Daryan Warner's co-operation deal, prosecutors agreed not to charge him with fraud and money laundering in connection with aiding and abetting an alleged bribe payment by the South African Bid Committee connected to its bid to host the 2010 World Cup.
That agreement signaled a potential area of testimony by him should the larger case against the 14 go to trial, as prosecutors allege that Jack Warner solicited payments worth $10 million from the South African government. He denies wrongdoing.
The US indictment alleges that “Previously, the defendant Jack Warner and his family had cultivated ties with South African soccer officials in connection with and subsequent to a failed bid by South Africa to host the 2006 World Cup.
“In the early 2000s, Co-Conspirator #14, a member of Warner's family, had used Warner's contacts in South Africa to organise friendly matches for Concacaf teams to play in South Africa. At one point, Warner also directed Co-Conspirator #14 to fly to Paris, France and accept a briefcase containing bundles of US currency in $10 000 stacks in a hotel room from Co-Conspirator #15, a high-ranking South African bid committee official,” the indictment reads.
“Hours after arriving in Paris, Co-Conspirator #14 boarded a return flight and carried the briefcase back to Trinidad and Tobago, where Co-Conspirator #14 provided it to Warner.”
The net appears to be closing in on the two South Africans alleged to have been involved in the bribery scandal with the latest news that Daryan and Daryll Warner will co-operate with U.S. authorities. It would appear that one of Warner's sons is "Co-Conspirator #14" and thus, allegedly, had direct contact with the South African official known as "Co-Conspirator #15" in that Paris hotel room.
Benjamin Brafman, Daryan Warner's lawyer, declined to comment on Monday.
In unveiling the charges against the 14 last Wednesday, U.S. authorities disclosed that four people and two corporate entities had secretly pleaded guilty but declined to confirm they were co-operating.
Transcripts subsequently released for the two Warner brothers' pleas have since confirmed they are co-operating.
Daryan's co-operation was first reported by Reuters in 2013. A July 2013 plea transcript obtained on Wednesday confirmed that Daryll Warner, a former FIFA development officer, was also co-operating.
Daryan Warner pleaded guilty in October 2013 to wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and the structuring of financial transactions to evade bank reporting requirements.
At the hearing, Daryan Warner admitted that he agreed with others to buy tickets to the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and resell them at a "substantial profit."
Daryan Warner said he bought the tickets directly from FIFA in 2006, misleading it about the role of an unnamed individual because he "believed that FIFA would not have sold them to me had he been involved."
Charging documents say that FIFA became aware he resold the tickets and that he believed he would not be able to buy them in 2010.
Nevertheless, Warner said he bought tickets from others to mislead FIFA. Charging documents describe those individuals as two unnamed family members who then were FIFA officials.