FIFA corruption scandal: Meet the 14 defendants charged by DOJ

FIFA arrests
The U.S. Department of Justice said seven FIFA officials were arrested Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland, stemming from corruption charges. From top left, clockwise are six of the arrested officials: FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo, FIFA development officer Julio Rocha, FIFA organizing committee member Jose Maria Marin, FIFA executive committee member-elect Eduardo Li, and CONMEBOL executive committee member and FVF president Rafael Esquivel. (AP files, Agencia EFE file, El Nacional file)

(MEDIA GENERAL) – The U.S. Department of Justice released a 47-count indictment in the early morning hours Wednesday, May 27, 2015, charging 14 people, including nine high-ranking FIFA officials with racketeering and money laundering conspiracies, among numerous other charges.

The result: Swiss officials arrested at least seven FIFA officials at the hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich, Switzerland, as FIFA prepared for Friday’s presidential election. While FIFA was hesitant to announce who was arrested, a release from the DOJ lists seven FIFA officials who were arrested: Jeffrey Webb, Eduardo Li, Eugenio Figueredo, Jose Maria Marin, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas and Rafael Esquivel.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch describes FIFA as an association plagued with “rampant, systemic” corruption.

“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” Lynch said in a statement. “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. … Today’s action makes clear that this Department of Justice intends to end any such corrupt practices, to root out misconduct, and to bring wrongdoers to justice.”

Here is a breakdown of the 14 defendants listed by the U.S. Department of Justice, including those who were arrested Wednesday morning in Zurich:

Jeffrey Webb: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member, Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president. Webb was arrested Wednesday by Swiss authorities.

Webb has served in international football for more than two decades. He was appointed CIFA president in 1991 and took a role at FIFA in 1995. He also took part in FIFA’s delegations to award five World Cups: France (1998), U.S. Women’s World Cup (1999), Korea/Japan (2002), Germany (2006) and South Africa (2010).

Eduardo Li: Current FIFA executive committee member-elect, CONCACAF executive committee member and Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) president. Li was arrested Wednesday by Swiss authorities.

Eugenio Figueredo: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member. Former South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president. Figueredo was arrested Wednesday by Swiss authorities.

Jose Maria Marin: Current member of the FIFA organizing committee of the Olympic soccer tournaments. Former Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president. Marin was arrested Wednesday by Swiss authorities.

Julio Rocha: Current FIFA development officer. Former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan Soccer Federation (FENIFUT) president. Rocha reportedly was arrested Wednesday by Swiss authorities, per the DOJ.

Costas Takkas: Current attaché to the CONCACAF president. Former CIFA general secretary. Takkas reportedly was arrested Wednesday by Swiss authorities, per the DOJ.

Rafael Esquivel: Current CONMEBOL executive committee member and Venezuelan Soccer Federation (FVF) president. Esquivel reportedly was arrested Wednesday by Swiss authorities, per the DOJ.

Jack Warner: Former FIFA vice president and executive committee member. Former CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.

Warner served in a variety of prominent roles throughout international soccer, including serving as CONCACAF president from 1990-2011 before he stepped down after corruption charges. In 2013, an investigation concluded Warner had committed fraud against CONCACAF and FIFA.

Nicolas Leoz: Former FIFA executive committee member and CONMEBOL president.

Alejandro Burzaco: Controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina.

Aaron Davidson: President of Traffic Sports USA Inc.

Hugo and Mariano Jinkis: Controlling principals of Full Play Group S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina.

Jose Marguiles: Controlling principal of Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd.

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