This is revealed in the indictment filed earlier this month in the United States Eastern District Court of New York against Warner and others. The unsealed document, filed on May 20, alleges a vote scheme “in or about 2004” in relation to bids for the 2010 World Cup, which eventually went to South Africa.
“Previously, the defendant Jack Warner and his family 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,” the 164-page document states.
Identifying co-conspirators only by numbers, the indictment records, “In the early 2000s, co-conspirator #14, a member of Warner’s family, used Warner’s contacts in South Africa to organise friendly matches for Concacaf teams to play in South Africa.” The document discloses the alleged mission to collect a cash bribe.
“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 states. “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.” This was all part of an alleged bribery scheme which saw US$10 million paid to Warner.
The document states, “In the months before the selection of the host nation for the 2010 World Cup, which was scheduled to take place in May 2004, the defendant Jack Warner and co-conspirator #1 travelled to Morocco as they had done in 1992, in advance of the voting for the 1998 World Cup host.”
The document continues, “While in Morocco during the 2004 trip, a representative of the Moroccan bid committee offered to pay $1 million to Warner in exchange for his agreement to cast his secret ballot on the FIFA executive committee for Morocco to host the 2010 World Cup.”
Subsequently, “co-conspirator #1 learned from the defendant Jack Warner, that high-ranking officials of FIFA, the South African government and the South African Bid Committee, including co-conspirator #16, were prepared to arrange for the government of South Africa to pay $10 million to CFU to, “support the African diaspora.”
“Co-conspirator #1 understood the offer to be in exchange for the agreement of Warner, co-conspirator #1 and co-conspirator #17 to all vote for South Africa, rather than Morocco, to host the 2010 World Cup.”
The US authorities allege, “Warner indicated that he had accepted the offer and told co-conspirator #1 that he would give a $1 million portion of the $10 million payment to co-conspirator #1.”
In FIFA’s executive committee vote held on May 15, 2004, South Africa was selected over Morocco and Egypt to host the 2010 World Cup. Warner, co-conspirator #1 and co-conspirator #17 indicated that they voted for South Africa.
reaches TT bank
The South Africans were unable to arrange for the bribe payment to be made directly from government funds. Arrangements were made to have FIFA funds diverted from other uses such as the said World Cup at South Africa, to the Caribbean Football Federation (CFU).
FIFA eventually sent the money to Warner from an account at Switzerland to accounts held in the name of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and Concacaf which were controlled by Warner.
The document details, “Soon after receiving these wire transfers, the defendant Jack Warner caused a substantial portion of the funds to be diverted for his personal use. For example, on January 9, 2008, Warner directed Republic Bank officials to apply $200,000 of the $616,000 that had been transferred into a CFU account from FIFA, one week earlier, toward a personal loan account held in his name.”
The indictment further alleges, “The defendant Jack Warner also diverted a portion of the funds into his personal accounts by laundering the funds through intermediaries.” The disclosure of the reported mission to Paris to collect bundles of cash is separate and apart from previous claims.
At the same time, the indictment also charges that Warner, in 2005, diverted FIFA funds to purchase a Florida condomium in the name of a relative.
States the indictment, “The defendant Jack Warner became involved in a number of other schemes, including the diversion of FIFA, Concacaf and CFU funds into accounts that he controlled and used for his personal benefit. Among other things, Warner funded a 2005 purchase of a Miami, Florida condominium, held in the name of a member of his family, with money drawn from an account held in the name of a soccer facility that was ostensibly affiliated with Concacaf, and was supported in part through FAP funds.”
Of Jack Warner generally, the indictment states, “From in or about 1983 to 2011, the defendant Jack Warner obtained power and influence over the enterprise, first in the Concacaf region, and then worldwide, eventually becoming a FIFA vice president and member of its executive committee.”
It further states, “In Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere, the defendant Jack Warner established and controlled numerous bank accounts and corporate entities in which he mingled his personal assets and those of Concacaf, CFU and TTFF.”
The document adds, “Beginning in the early 1990s, Waener, often with the assistance of co-conspirator #1, began to leverage his influence and exploit his official positions for personal gain.
Among other things, Warner began to solicit and accept bribes in connection with his official duties, including the selection of the host nation for the World Cups held in 1998 and 2010, which he participated in as a member of the FIFA executive committee.”