United States authorities are investigating banks' handling of FIFA funds in connection to the scandal that has rocked soccer's governing body, reports the Wall Street Journal.
According to the WSJ, prosecutors in the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office and New York’s top financial regulator have contacted more than a half dozen banks in separate investigations.
Authorities are reportedly questioning whether banks should have noticed money flows linked to the alleged FIFA corruption and bribery and raised concerns about it. Banks are required by law to have anti-money laundering systems.
In May, the United States Justice Department indicted and charged 14 current and former FIFA officials and business partners with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, accusing them of decades of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption.
From the WSJ:
Prosecutors have questioned HSBC Holdings PLC, Standard Chartered PLC and Delta National Bank and Trust Company, according to the people. At least three other major international banks have been contacted in the probe, the people said. Those banks couldn’t be identified and it isn’t clear if the separate probes by the U.S. Attorney’s office and the New York regulator are looking at identical groups of banks.
Former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer has admitted to bribes related to World Cup bids and previously pleaded guilty to 10 counts, including six counts of income tax evasion and one count each of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and willful failure to file a report of foreign bank and financial accounts. Earlier this month, FIFA banned Blazer for life.
- Molly Geary