FIFA Official’s Son Cooperating With U.S. Probe Since 2013

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Daryll Warner, son of a former FIFA vice president indicted this week in the soccer bribery scandal, was cooperating with U.S. prosecutors when he pleaded guilty in 2013, according to a court transcript made public on Friday.

Warner, 40, was the first of four people to plead guilty in a probe of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, admitting wire fraud and structuring of financial transactions on July 15, 2013. Warner’s brother, Daryan, pleaded guilty later that year.

At Daryll Warner’s guilty plea, a judge said he agreed to testify at any proceeding required by prosecutors and keep his help secret.

“The defendant agrees to be fully debriefed and to attend all meetings at which his presence is requested,” U.S. District Judge William F. Kuntz II said at the hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. Warner also agreed to “participate in undercover activities,” according to the judge.

At no point in the hearing did the judge, the lawyers or Warner mention FIFA.

Prosecutors unsealed an indictment this week against nine officials at FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and five corporate executives, saying they paid or took $150 million in bribes. One of those charged was Warner’s father, Jack, 72, who was a Trinidad-based vice president when he quit soccer in 2011.

The U.S. probe of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering will continue, prosecutors said.

$5 Billion

FIFA, which collected almost $5 billion from running last year’s World Cup in Brazil, has been battered by scandal for years. Arrests of seven officials Wednesday at a Zurich hotel buffeted the organization, which voted Friday to give Sepp Blatter a fifth term as president.

Three others pleaded guilty in the probe, prosecutors said. Daryan Warner pleaded on Oct. 25, 2013; Charles Blazer, former general secretary of the confederation that oversees soccer in North and Central America, did so on Nov. 25, 2013; and Jose Hawilla, founder of a Brazilian sports marketing firm, pleaded Dec. 12, 2014.

All four cases were sealed until Wednesday.

At a news conference Wednesday announcing the indictment, U.S. officials declined to say whether any of those four were cooperating. Reuters reported in 2013 that Daryan was helping prosecutors, and the New York Daily News reported last year that Blazer was cooperating.

Daryll Warner gave 11 debriefings to prosecutors from Dec. 2, 2012, to July 8, 2013, according to the judge.

Cash Deposits

The Warner brothers were arrested on an Internal Revenue Service complaint dated Nov. 20, 2012. It accused them of illegally structuring cash deposits of more than $600,000 from July 2011 to December 2011 to avoid the $10,000 threshold that triggers reporting by banks to the Treasury Department.

They made deposits of U.S. dollars, Russian rubles, euros and British pounds, according to the IRS complaint. Over one two-day period in October 2011, they made 15 cash deposits totaling $59,315 at four banks, the agency said.

Over the six months, the brothers flew to the U.S. from Frankfurt, Aruba, Trinidad, and London, making deposits at banks in Miami, New York and Las Vegas, according to the IRS. In one trip, they flew from Miami to London, then on to Prague and St. Peterburg before returning to London, the IRS said.

The arrest complaint said the brothers are “businessmen who have been involved in ventures in the United States, Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere, including ventures involving their father.”

High-Ranking

Their father was “a high-ranking official in various sports governing bodies” until June 2011, and Daryll was also an official until late 2011, the IRS said. Daryan Warner was “involved in real estate and leisure ventures, as well as personal investment activities,” it said.

When Daryll Warner pleaded guilty, he admitted he fraudulently obtained a mortgage on a Miami condominium in 2005, and he engaged in structuring.

Warner’s attorney, Maurice Sercarz, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

The case is U.S. v. Warner, 13-cr-00402, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

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