Swiss prosecutors confirm 25 investigations linked to FIFA

  • Swiss prosecutors confirm 25 investigations linked to FIFA

Swiss prosecutors confirm 25 investigations linked to FIFA

"By facilitating the flow of bribe money through the Swiss and American banking systems, the defendant provided a critical service to those involved in corruption in global soccer, " acting United States attorney Bridget Rohde said in a statement.

Arzuaga, 56, of Argentina, pleaded guilty on Thursday to a US money laundering conspiracy charge in connection with a probe into corruption in world soccer.

Michael Lauber's office confirmed the scale of "football-related cases" after securing a first conviction since its FIFA investigations began in 2014.

The US court found that between 2010 and 2015, Arzuaga managed accounts controlled by Alejandro Burzaco, acting for an Argentine sports media and marketing business. Soccer official #1 is described as "a high-ranking official of Fifa, Conmebol [the South America football confederation], and the Asociación del Fútbol Argentina ("AFA")", who died in 2014.

Under the terms of his plea, Arzuaga agreed to forfeit more than $1 million that he received in bonus payments from Burzaco for moving bribe money.

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The OAG statement said that the former employee of the Credit Suisse and Julius Baier banks would forfeit to the Swiss general treasury $650,000 (582,000 euros) in illegally obtained payments.

Mr Lauber was invited by Federation Internationale de Football Association in November 2014 to begin investigating suspected wrongdoing in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests, won by Russia and Qatar.

"To date, 178 reports of suspected money-laundering transactions have been received in connection with the football investigations", Lauber's office said.

Acting US attorney Bridget Rohde said on Thursday: "By facilitating the flow of bribe money through the Swiss and American banking systems, the defendant provided a critical service to those involved in corruption in global soccer".

"The summary penalty order in Switzerland is part of a process coordinated between the responsible American prosecution authority and the OAG in order to conclude proceedings at the same time".

Arzuaga, who worked in Zurich as a private banker, handled accounts for sports marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco, who pleaded guilty to US bribery charges in 2015.