Photographer: Michael Buholzer/AFP via Getty Images

Ex-Banker Found Guilty in Soccer Bribery Plot After Swiss Probe

  • Banker won’t face further sanction after pleading guilty in NY
  • Jorge Arzuaga on Thursday admitted guilt in U.S. court hearing

The Swiss Attorney-General’s Office completed its first case into a money laundering and bribery plot involving top soccer officials, convicting a former banker with a major Swiss bank for his role in the affair.

The banker, whose name and employer were not disclosed, was found guilty of document forgery and failing to report $650,000 in illicit payments, funds that will be forfeited to the Swiss general treasury, the attorney-general’s office said in a statement Friday. He won’t face further Swiss proceedings given that he has already pleaded guilty to prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York, the Bern-based prosecutor said.

While the Swiss declined to name the man in this case, Jorge Arzuaga, who had worked at Julius Baer Group Ltd., pleaded guilty and told a federal court in Brooklyn on Thursday that he was “deeply sorry” for his role in a plot to funnel at least $25 million in bribes from an Argentinian sports-marketing company to soccer officials including Julio Grondona, once a senior vice-president of FIFA.

Prosecutors have said soccer officials took almost $200 million in bribes from sports-marketing executives in the Americas seeking media and marketing rights to tournaments.

Switzerland’s top prosecutor said Friday it now has about 25 separate investigations into soccer-related corruption underway, having received 178 reports of suspicious activity from Switzerland’s Money-Laundering Reporting Office, or MROS.

— With assistance by David Voreacos

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