NEW YORK: Costas Takkas, a former aide to ex-CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, has been sentenced in New York to 15 months in prison. District Judge Pamela K Chen ruled he should be credited for 10 months already served in Switzerland.
Takkas worked for Webb at the central and north American confederation through which Webb and predecessor Jack Warner had siphoned funds as well as through its Caribbean Football Union subsidiary.
The British citizen was one of the seven senior world football executives arrested dramatically at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich in May 2015 on the eve of the congress of world federation FIFA.
Later he was extradited to the United States at the request of the Department of Justice in the comprehensive FIFAGate investigation which has seen more than 40 individuals and companies indicted over a $200m corruption network in football in the Americas.
Takkas spent 10 months in prison in Switzerland before being flown to the US where he played guilty last May to money-laundering conspiracy charges.
He was accused of demanding and accepting bribes of millions of dollars for Webb linked to the sale of marketing rights for World Cup qualifiers. Webb pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and is awaiting sentencing.
R Damon Rowe from the Internal Revenue Service had told the court: “Over a three-year period, Takkas undermined the process of fair and open competition when he conspired to secretly funnel bribe money to Webb through a series of transactions involving international wire transfers and U.S. financial institutions.”
Takkas, a former senior official of the Cayman Islands FA, also faces a legal claim from CONCACAF for the restitution of $3m to the Caribbean Football Union to repay illicit payments he passed on to Webb.
In court statements Takkas claimed he did not receive a “cut” of Webb’s bribe proceeds.
He had been “caught up” in the excitement of being part of international football and committed his crime because of his relationship with Webb, who was also a former FIFA vice-president.