Webb would become CONCACAF President after replacing Jack Warner in 2012 under the gloomy skies of what the Miami Herald called “…another vote-rigging bribery scheme.” http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article23152416.html Good old Warner had resigned amid corruption allegations in 2011. Warner also resigned from his FIFA post as Vice President at the time.
Goddam money. It always ends up making you blue as hell.
Catcher in the Rye
Webb was one of the FIFA members staying at the $4,000-a-night hotel in Zurich, when the raid at dawn knocked on his well-constructed door. The Baur au Lac is a 171-year-old five-star hotel in the downtown, overlooking Lake Zurich that claims to be the place where the Nobel Peace Prize first came to be. As usual, there were a number of newspapers laying on the front doorstep as workers in black uniforms tidied up around the beautiful marble floors just inside the lobby near the concierge taking early morning calls from well-to-do guests. Moments later, more than a dozen law enforcement agents, dressed in street attire, jeans and casual jackets, approached the front desk displaying official papers, demanding to have access to the rooms of the accused. The front desk made a call, informing one of the assailants to open the door or it would have to be kicked in. The rounded up men were allowed to get dressed and pack their bags. One by one, they were escorted through different exits around the hotel.
Webb was placed in a Swiss jail and began fighting extradition to the US immediately, fearful his guilt may become a long-term prison sentence. After all, he accepted millions of dollars in bribes from big sports marketing firms and executives in charge of making such deals for the locations of games and media rights for regional games played under his control of CONCACAF, totaling at least $6 million.
The irony is Webb was regarded as a reformer, when he was unanimously elected CONCACAF President in May 2012. He was FIFA’s youngest soccer confederation President in history at age forty-seven, representing the British overseas territory of approximately 58,000 residents; quite a proud moment for an area not known for much else in the world of soccer other than producing Dwight York. (Of course, York is from Trinidad, not the Caymans, but what else can the Caymans claim in terms of soccer glory? It would have to be sharing in the success from one of their island neighbors.) The day he was elected, Blatter looked on as Webb promised to reform the bad reputation Warner had left, returning integrity to the sport. However, much like Napoleon and the fellow pigs, Jones’ kitchen was raided and the partying continued. (Orwell would be so disappointed, or reluctantly satisfied in the verification of his innate understanding of human nature.)
The beauty of Webb’s contradictions are blatantly obvious; and constitute the sole purpose for members of the US Department of Justice waking up every morning. Even before Webb was voted in – upon promises to eradicate corruption – he worked out unlawful deals with Enriquez Sanz, the eventual CONCACAF Secretary General. It was noted by the Miami Herald that Sanz “…solicited a $50,000 bribe on Webb’s behalf from the Miami-based sports marketing firm, Traffic Sports USA, where Sanz was Vice President…The money was transferred from Traffic’s operating account to a Cayman company controlled by Webb’s ‘attache’ and longtime friend, Costas Takkas. Takkas, a British national who also has been indicted, is a former secretary general of the Cayman football association.” http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article23152416.html
As Secretary General, Sanz, Webb and Traffic Sports USA continued to work together in a back-and-forth money relationship including $1.1 million from Traffic Sports USA for the media rights to CONCACAF’s Gold Cup in 2013, along with Champions League payoffs from 2013-14 and 2014-15 and $2 million more was paid to Webb when the contract came up for renewal. All of this was done in the isolated corner of the map known as CONCACAF. The Caribbean region is a part of the world where money laundering is synonymous with…well, money laundering. There is a notable scene from Office Space where the three aspiring embezzlers turned culprits discuss taking down their corporate office’s finances from a secret computer program that would entail laundering the money to which one of them raises the important question: “What is money laundering?” They discuss options, pointing out a corrupt cousin that might know. Most people have a hard time getting their head around “laundering.” Basically, it’s the ability to move money around, where it shouldn’t be moved around, and the banks of the Caribbean have become experts in this field.
In order to conceal this wrong doing, as most criminals try to do, Webb went through great lengths to produce a false invoice submitted to Traffic Sports USA, paid to an overseas soccer uniform company connected to Takkas.
More investigations are underway, taxing the Department of Justice at the expense of US tax payers, looking for answers...