Jeffrey Webb and his attaché Costas Takkas, who U.S. authorities allege solicited bribes for the CONCACAF president, both served as directors for Abakan Inc., a Florida-based penny stock company that maintains a subsidiary, run by Takkas, at Cayman Enterprise City.
Webb and Takkas, a British national and former longtime resident of the Cayman Islands, were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 27 and are fighting extradition to the U.S.
Webb joined Abakan Inc. as an independent member of the board in August 2012, three months after he was appointed president of the football confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean. Takkas was the company’s chief financial officer until he was terminated following his arrest last week.
The company develops and plans to manufacture nanocomposite coating materials. It described Webb in a press release and SEC filings when he joined the company as an active business development manager for Fidelity even though he had ceased to work there months earlier. The announcement did not mention his position as president of CONCACAF.
The release stated that Webb was expected to serve as a member of the company’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Compliance and Ethics Committee, Compensation Committee and Audit Committee.
According to an Aug. 7, 2012, SEC filing, Webb’s compensation included “options to purchase 150,000 shares that vest in equal increments, annually over three years with an exercise price of $1.90 per share and 10,000 restricted common shares.”
Webb resigned as a director of the company on May 6, 2014. Why Webb was employed by Abakan and whether he did any work is not clear.
Abakan is run by Robert H. Miller, an American business associate of Takkas. Both men have pursued numerous business ventures together over the past 25 years, at times joined by Mr. Miller’s wife Maria Camila Maz.
Mr. Miller did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Special Economic Zone
Abakan Inc. maintains a subsidiary, AMP Distributors SEZC, in Cayman’s special economic zone. Abakan notes in corporate filings that Takkas is the Cayman subsidiary’s general manager.
According to Abakan’s SEC filings, AMP Distributors Inc. was formed in June 2011 as a Cayman Islands company to manage the sales of its subsidiary MesoCoat’s products and acquire equipment and coating materials for the company’s international transactions.
The company obtained a special economic zone trade certificate in May 2013 and changed its name to AMP SEZC. “Fully staffed offices have been established by AMP SEZC in the Cayman Enterprise City,” the company said. Cayman Enterprise City said it had no comment at this time.
During the past two years, the MesoCoat products AMP was supposed to sell were not yet commercially available. The company’s “operations consisted primarily of research and development expenditures, and revenues from planned principal operations that have not yet been realized,” corporate records show.
Meanwhile, the future success of operations is subject to several technical hurdles and risk factors, including satisfactory product development, regulatory approval and market acceptance, as well as the company’s ability to obtain future funding.
Holding company Abakan Inc. incurred net losses of more than $24 million since the company’s inception in June 2006, and as of May 2014 it had a working capital deficit of nearly $8 million.
Abakan’s latest quarterly results note that the company must raise additional revenue to meet long-term financial commitments and realize consistent income to continue as a going concern. The company has previously defaulted on “significant unsecured debt obligations” and has been sued by creditors. Although the firm says it intends to “address its obligations,” it needs additional funding to do so.
The company is also subject to an SEC investigation. In November 2014, the SEC ordered Abakan to produce documents to determine whether there have been any violations of federal securities laws.
In December 2010, Abakan issued 90,000 shares of its common stock to extinguish a debt of $67,500 to Kosson Ventures Ltd. The indictment of Webb and Takkas alleges that accounts of Kosson Ventures, a company controlled by Takkas, were used to channel bribe payments in a chain of wire transfers to Webb.
However, the indictment did not establish a connection to Abakan or any of its subsidiaries.
On May 29, the company released a statement that it had suspended Takkas “from undertaking any further responsibilities as its CFO” after he was arrested and charged “with certain activities unrelated to his position with Abakan.”