NEW YORK: The prospect of Jeff Webb, one-time FIFA vice-president, ever spending any time in a United States prison for his role in FIFAGate has receded even further writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The Cayman Islands banker who was also president of the central and north American confederation was one of the seven men detained in Zurich on the eve of FIFA Congress in May 2015 and subsequently extradited on corruption charges.
Webb has been under home restrictions in Georgia ever since while negotiating with the US judicial authorities. He is understood to have admitted racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges drawn up in the $200m football fraud investigation but to be bargaining an eventual sentence against the information which can incriminate other FBI targets.
These include, most notably Jack Warner who was Webb’s predecessor as CONCACAF supremo and is fighting extradition from Trinidad and Tobago on similar FIFAGate corruption and money-laundering charges.
Webb was due to be sentenced on September 10 but is understood to have been granted further postponment until March next year by Judge Pamela Chen of the East District of New York.
Court documents indicate that Webb skimmed $3m in bribes from the media agency Traffic Group when it bought TV rights for World Cup qualifiers in the Caribbean. He has been banned from football for life by the world federation which is also claiming $6.7m in compensation.
As for Warner, who headed CONCACAF from 1990-2011, he is accused by US justice of receiving $10m from the South African government in exchange for three World Cup bid votes.
Some 42 individuals and companies were indicted by the US Justice Department, initially on the evidence provided by American Chuck Blazer, former general secretary of CONCACAF and member of the FIFA executive committee. He died in July 2017.