RIO DE JANEIRO: Ricardo Teixeira may be having second thoughts after believing that he had escaped legal, disciplinary and media pursuit when he quit his football roles and fled Rio de Janeiro to a luxury home in Miami three years ago writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Teixeira’s murky financial dealings have been cast back into focus in Brazil by a federal police recommendation that he be charged with a catalogue of fraud allegations.
The reported has surfaced after a public accounts committee inquiry into Teixeira’s activities during the period between 2009 and 2012 when he was president not only of the national football confederation (CBF) but also of the 2014 World Cup local organising committee.
Brazil’s Conselho de Controle de Atividades Financeiras has reported that Teixeira, on the basis of inquiries by the federal police, had enriched himself by $150m in those three years alone.
Concerns have lingered about the reasons Brazil used so many venue cities for its World Cup hosting, contrary to the preferences of world federation FIFA. Questions were also raised about why the out-of-the-way resort of Costa do Saupe, north of Salvador, was chosen to host the finals draw.
COAF was told that Teixeira ran a number of foreign bank accounts from which he ‘imported’ $230,000 to buy an apartment in Rio de Janeiro. It is not known whether this is the apartment in the exclusive Itanhanga, western Rio, to which he has lately returned while putting his Miami property up for sale [as reported here previously: http://tinyurl.com/o7ffa2l)].
The police report claimed that Teixeira’s Brazilian income “could not possibly justify the amounts involved in the acquisition.” The apartment is now assessed as being worth more than $630,000.
COAF said that the police had recommended that Teixeira be charged with money laundering, tax evasion, forgery and falsification of public document.
Teixeira was not among those named in the 14th initial corruption indictments handed down by the United States Justice Department last Wednesday.
However a close confidant Jose Maria Marin, Teixeira’s successor at the CBF, was detained at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich and is contesting an extradition application from the US.
Teixeira, ex-son-in-law of Joao Havelange and a former FIFA executive committee member, spent much of the winter in the Mediterranean tax haven of Monte Carlo before moving back to Brazil.
Brazilian citizens cannot, under a clause in the national constitution, be extradited – thought to be one of the reasons Teixeira has returned home.
Marco Polo Del Nero, who succeeded Marin as CBF president and is a member of the FIFA exco, flew home on Thursday night, before congress, for fear of being arrested on a US warrant.
Teixeira is referred to indirectly in the US Justice Department indictment in a section referring to Marin’s activities surrounding the Copa do Brasil: “At one point co-conspirator No2 asked whether it was really necessary to continue to pay bribes to Marin’s predecessor as CBF president [Teixeira].”
Del Nero, immediately after Marin’s arrest, had said in Switzerland that any irregularities had been committed under the previous regime i.e. that of Teixeira.
Justice sources have also indicated that investigations continue into the circumstances of the multi-million sponsorship of the Brazilian national team by Nike. This was negotiated in the 1990s, for the CBF, by Teixeira.
He is alleged to have benefited personally from the deal by up to $5m.