Sixteen international soccer officials have been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on multiple corruption charges.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch revealed Thursday that the indictments include five current and/or former members of FIFA’s executive board.
The Justice Department described in a release that the officials arrested were a part of “a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.” And Swiss authorities also arrested two members of the committee.
Swiss officials are seeking to extradite Juan Angel Napout and Alfredo Hawit to the U.S. to face charges, and the Justice Department will pursue the extradition of other officials as well. Hawit proceeded Webb in the CONCACAF presidency after Webb was arrested in May. Hawit “assumed the mantle” of corruption within the federation, said Lynch.
President of CONCACAF, Alfredo Hawit, is the overseer of North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The president of CONMEBOL, Juan Angel Napout, oversees the South American soccer confederation. Both were arrested by Swiss authorities.
They were charged for engaging in money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud. Attorney General Loretta Lynch described the scale of their corruption as “unconscionable.” Lynch said. “The message from this announcement should be clear to every culpable individual who remains in the shadows, hoping to evade our investigation: You will not wait us out. You will not escape our focus.”
There is a 92-count indictment including charges against Marco Polo del Nero and Ricardo Teixeira. The two are the current and former presidents of the Brazilian soccer federation.
CONMEBOL’s current and former general secretaries, José Luís Meiszner and Eduardo Deluca are also indicted. A brief list of indicted official’s countries where they have served are: Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.
These indictments follow the mass indictment of 14 people in May on related charges in regards to corruption in international soccer.
The Justice Department has even gone on to expand past corruption charges against the FIFA officials that were arrested in May. Lynch announced that eight of those officials have pleaded guilty to assorted corruption charges.