Wednesday, December 9, 2015


The professional football world, already reeling from the fallout surrounding the indictment, and guilty plea, of former Cayman banker Jeffrey Webb, the CACACAF president, and FIFA vice president, on $10m corruption charges, the US Department of Justice brought in additional defendants, in a superseding indictment of other corrupt senior FIFA officials. Webb recently entered a plea of guilty, and is awaiting sentencing, while under house arrest in the United States. He will be disgorging millions of dollars of bribe money.

Buried in the new indictment are the circuitous methods through which Webb received bribes, and those methods are painfully detailed therein. One bribe payment went as follows:

(1) It originated at Multibank, in Panama. From there, it went to...
(2) The bank's correspondent account at Bank of America, in the United States...
(3) For further credit to a Citibank account in Florida.

Who controlled that account, you ask ? An attorney in Grand Cayman, who has close ties to local Cayman football organizations. He was, according to the indictment, called before a Federal Grand Jury, in the United States, to give testimony about the transaction. Remember, when you take the proceeds of crime, in this case a bribe, and move it through the global financial system, to disguise it illicit origin, or to deliver it to the recipient, you have committed money laundering. That is a 20-year felony in the United States.

This unnamed lawyer, whose identity is common knowledge in the financial community of the Cayman Islands, was not charged in the indictment, nor can I find him charged anywhere. Did he receive immunity from prosecution for his cooperation ? Unless there is a sufficient deterrent, when individuals, especially attorneys, who possess special skills, and can artfully hide their dirty clients behind the attorney-client privilege, commit money laundering, others will be tempted to break the law, as they do not fear the consequences.

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