A Lot Of Money Goes Missing… And No One Wants to Talk About It

The recent investigation by CONCACAF’s Integrity Commission into the disaster its former management created for the organization produced an amazing document.

The two stars of the show are Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer. The rap sheet is formidable.

Blazer, CONCACAF’s former General Secretary allegedly:

  • Misappropriated CONCACAF Funds
  • Breached Fiduciary Duty to CONCACAF
  • Violated the CONCACAF Statutes
  • Violated the FIFA Ethics Code

Warner, the former CONCACAF President, it is alleged:

  • Committed Fraud Against CONCACAF and FIFA
  • Committed Fraud and Misappropriated Funds from FFA
  • Breached Fiduciary Duties to CONCACAF
  • Violated the CONCACAF Statutes
  • Violated the FIFA Ethics Code

You can read the full report here.

The FBI is also investigating the activities of Blazer and Warner who weaved a complex financial  web across many countries and jurisdictions.

“But EVERYONE in New York gets indicted by the FBI,” quipped one person to me about how those under investigation may be viewing the FBI probe.

Blatter, Warner, and Blazer before the web unraveled.

Blatter, Warner, and Blazer before the complicated web completely unraveled.

There is evidence of a rookie error, however. Don’t set up an office or do business in the United States and not expect the U.S. government to have a few questions about taxation and where your income is coming from. That’s how the FBI eventually took down Mafia boss John Gotti.

But American authorities are not the only law enforcement agencies who should be interested in the events in the Caribbean. What stands out in the report is the claim that Jack Warner committed fraud and misappropriated funds from Football Federation Australia.

That relates to a USD$462,200 payment that FFA apparently made to CONCACAF that it is claimed ended up in Jack Warner’s personal bank account.

That payment was made during the heady days of 2010 during the bidding process of the 2022 World Cup. The FFA payment was never heard of again. The money certainly never made it to CONCACAF.

Australia’s FFA claims the cash came from its “international football development budget” and was not part of the AUD$45 million received by the government for the World Cup bid. The Australian Federal Government has washed its hands of the issue, saying it’s not government money so not its problem.

According to its own annual reports, FFA revenue comes from broadcast rights, sponsorship, match gate receipts and catering, government grants, merchandise, and registration and license fees, including money collected from kids and amateurs who want to play in organized competition.

So the money originated from TV networks, sponsors, tax payers, and everyday people who play and watch soccer. It is their money that has gone missing.

FFA says that it cooperated with the CONCACAF investigation and that it has written to the confederation asking what steps it can next take. I’d be waiting by the mail box.

I don’t know about you but if I’d just given away half a million dollars to someone with a known track record for dubious financial behavior and who had just been labeled fraudulent by the former Attorney-General of Barbados, a former U.S. Federal judge, and someone whose expertise is risk management and ethics, I’d be doing more than writing a letter.

FFA Chairman Frank Lowy and his then-CEO Ben Buckley oversaw Australia's dismal World Cup bid.

FFA Chairman Frank Lowy and his then-CEO Ben Buckley oversaw Australia’s dismal World Cup bid.

Let’s be clear: half a million dollars has DISAPPEARED from Football Federation Australia’s bank account. There appears no rush to find it. Little media out cry. Less interest from those who made the payment.

In other words: Ssssshhhh.

Here’s a tip: the website for the Australian Federal Police, an equivalent agency to the FBI, suggests calling your local police about issues like missing money.

“Where the suspects live in foreign countries – these are still the responsibility of State or Territory police who can seek assistance from interstate or foreign law enforcement as appropriate. In order to refer an investigation to a foreign law enforcement agency it is necessary to report the matter to your local State or Territory police.”

When I lived in Australia and was too-often burgled, with televisions, VCRs, and CDs being walked out the door, I always called the cops. They were never unhappy to hear from victims of crime. On occasion, stolen swag even came back.

What Warner did with FFA’s naive donation is not necessarily the Australian governing body’s fault. But it is its responsibility to find out where the money went and how it will be returned.

One comment

  1. […] A Lot Of Money Goes Missing… And No One Wants to Talk About It. […]

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