NEW YORK: FIFA will not be receiving anything like the $22m it had claimed in restitution against FIFAGate conspirators Jose Maria Marin and Juan Angel Napout writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Judge Patricia Chen, who oversaw the case late last year which resulted in jail terms for the former presidents of the Brazilian and South American federations, has ruled on claims by the world football federation, by regional confederation CONCACAF and by South American body CONMEBOL.
Judge Chen agreed that the bodies had been victims of the corruption conspiracy which creamed off millions in bribes for broadcast rights for international tournaments. However she deemed the amounts claimed to be excessive.
She also criticised the fees claimed by lawyers from Quinn Emanuel (for FIFA and CONMEBOL) and Sidley Austin (CONCACAF).
Judge Chen ordered that FIFA be due $108,000, CONCACAF $1.7m and CONMEBOL $783,000. That totals $2,63m, far below the bodies total claim for $150m.
She described the FIFA claim as “patently frivolous” and said it was not entitled to the vast majority of its claim because it related to its own internal investigation into the corruption scandal.
In her 32-page order, Chen wrote that FIFA “proactively approached” the US government to “open a dialogue” after American prosecutors publicly revealed who they would be charging and what they would be charging them with.
FIFA’s lawyers admitted at the time that this was “motivated by a desire to demonstrate its cooperation, preserve its victim status, and avoid prosecution in any future indictment”.
As Napout pointed out, and Chen noted, “a corporation acting out of self-preservation cannot turn around and have its costs reimbursed through restitution”.
The total is to be divided among the various individuals convicted thus far but, in particular Napout and Marin.
Napout, currently serving nine years in federal prison, should pay $356,000; and Maria Marin, serving four years, $137,000. They must also share another $21,000.
More than 40 individuals and several companies were indicted originally in the FIFAGate case which burst into the open in May 2015.
US authorities have been unable to apprehend former Brazilian confederation president Ricardo Teixeira and successor Marco Polo del Nero while they remain in Brazil. A clause in the national constitution prevents extradition of its citizens.
Teixeira, former son-in-law of the late long-serving FIFA president Joao Havelange, is also wanted by Spanish prosecutors over fraud allegations concerning rights to Brazil national team matches.
Sandro Rosell, former Nike executive and Barcelona president, is being held in detention on Spain on associated charges.