NEW YORK: The ‘bribery business’ spending of former Brazilian confederation president Jose Maria Marin was examined in the latest hearing of the FIFAGate trial in New York.
Marin and two other former football bosses in South America, Paraguay’s Juan Angel Napout and Peru’s Manuel Burga, have denied charges of corruption arising out of the United States Justice Department investigation into a $200m scandal.
The prosecution alleged that Marin had received $1.5m in one particular deal for the award of television right to the Copa America and Copa Libertadores.
Subsequently he spent $118,000 on designer clothes, $20,977.15 at an Hermes store in Paris, $50,000 with Bulgari in Las Vegas, $10,070.94 at Chanel in New York and $34,295 at New York’s Hermes.
Marin used a Morgan Stanley bank account in Miami and a phantom company called Firelli International according to evidence from IRS consultant Richard Adams, an expert in tracking money-laundering.
He described the Marin money trail thus:
FPT, an offshore company belonging to Argentinian media giant Torneos y Competencias, bought rights to the Copa Libertadores and Copa América and made three deposits: two of US$900,000 and one of $3m to the two tournaments respectively.
US revenue manager Steven Berryman said that the deposits were made to the Expertise Travel account, owned by tourism entrepreneur Wagner Abrahão in partnership with the owner of Traffic, Brazilian Jose Hawilla. This company, according to Hawilla’s testimony earlier in the week, was created solely for this purpose.
In order to move the money Marin and his wife, Neuza, opened a ghost company, Firelli, located in the British Virgin Islands, another tax haven.
In the same year, the couple opened an account at Morgan Stanley Bank in Miami, where Expertise made three deposits of $500,000.