Jack Warner's sons face long jail terms in US
The United States Justice Department Wednesday announced that the two sons of the former vice-president of the International Football Federation (FIFA), Austin Jack Warner, had pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and the structuring of financial transactions.
A statement issued by the US Justice Department noted that Daryll Warner and his brother, Daryan Warner had both waived indictment in 2013 and pleaded guilty to the charges.
It said that on July 15, 2013, “the defendant Daryll Warner, son of defendant Jack Warner and a former FIFA development officer, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with wire fraud and the structuring of financial transactions.
“On October 25, 2013, the defendant Daryan Warner waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging him with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and the structuring of financial transactions. Daryan Warner forfeited over $1.1 million around the time of his plea and has agreed to pay a second forfeiture money judgment at the time of sentencing.”
According to the US Justice Department, the indicted and convicted individual defendants face maximum terms of incarceration of 20 years for the charges of conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges.
The statement said also that Daryan and Daryll Warner face maximum terms of incarceration of 10 years for structuring financial transactions to evade currency reporting requirements.
“Each individual defendant also faces mandatory restitution, forfeiture and a fine. By the terms of their plea agreements, the corporate defendants face fines of US$500,000 and one year of probation,” the Justice Department said.
The announcement by the Justice Department follows the arrest of nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives who have been indicted for racketeering conspiracy and corruption in the United States.
But the former FIFA vice-president, who is the leader of a small political party in Trinidad, said he was not aware of any developments and that he is not losing sleep over the issue.
“At the end of the day, if the US believes they want to get at Jack Warner, I am here in my home, I am here in my office. No problem, I don’t have to run to them, they know what they have to do,” Warner told television viewers, adding “I sleep very soundly and I am sleeping very soundly still”.
Warner said he had last been to the United States a year ago, dismissing suggestions that he had not travelled to North America for many years in light of the US probe.
Earlier, US Attorney General Lorretta Lynch said the corruption by FIFA officials was "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States".
"It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.
"And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organisations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable."
In addition to the US investigations international media reports indicate that the Swiss prosecutors have launched a criminal case into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.
FIFA said it plans to go ahead with elections for its next president on Friday.