Report: Jack Warner accused of pocketing Haiti quake relief money

Tuesday June 9th, 2015

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner is involved in another scandal, this time accused of diverting funds to bank accounts he controlled that were intended for victims of a 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed upwards of 200,000 people and caused an estimated $14 billion in damage.

The BBC says it obtained papers from United States investigators that claimed Warner took $750,000 that was donated by FIFA and the Korean Football Association and earmarked to help Haiti rebuild, and instead used it for personal expenses. 

Warner was arrested last month in his home country of Trinidad and faces extradition to the United States on charges of corruption and money laundering.

He is one of 14 individuals indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice, accused of decades-long corruption and receiving $150 million in bribes to secure bids to some of soccer’s biggest tournaments.

The scandal led to the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter days after he was re-elected to a fifth, four-year term.

U.S. authorities have said Warner received three payments totaling $10 million believed to be sent by FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke in exchange for a vote for South Africa as the 2010 World Cup host.

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Aley Eddine Helal, a former Egypt sports minister, also said that Warner demanded a $7 million bribe to vote for the country in its bid to host the 2010 World Cup.

Football Federation Australia of president Frank Lowy said he would welcome an investigation on a $500,000 payment that was made as a part of the country’s failed 2022 World Cup bid that eventually went to Qatar.

That payment reportedly also went into Warner’s controlled account, but Lowy says that bid that Australia made was “clean." He also admitted that Australia's bid “never stood a chance.”

“But I think there were a lot of other countries that thought so also because he made promises to them. But he made no promise to me,” Lowry told Sky News Australia.

- Scooby Axson

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