Jeffrey Webb was a director of Jack Warner’s Cayman company J&D International, which obtained World Cup TV rights and sold them for millions, according to court documents obtained by the Cayman Compass.
Both former CONCACAF president Webb and his predecessor Warner were charged in May by U.S. authorities with corruption and racketeering.
J&D International was set up in May 1995 by Warner and was used to sell the 2002 World Cup TV rights for the Caribbean region for $4.25 million to the Caribbean Football Union, an organization that Warner controlled at the time as its president.
Cayman Islands Grand Court documents show that Webb was a director of J&D International.
“J and D International Limited” was struck off the company register on Dec. 31, 1997. The company was then restored to the register on Sept. 5, 2005, after Webb submitted an affidavit as J&D International’s director, and the company paid outstanding fees of $7,906.70. The company’s registered office was changed at the same time from Dr. Roy’s Drive to the address of Webb’s attorney Waide DaCosta’s law firm.
The company was again struck off the register on Oct. 29, 2010. The TV rights agreement between Cayman-based J&D International, also referred to as JD International or JDI, and the Caribbean Football Union states that KirchMedia WM GmbH, the official licensee of all World Cup media rights at the time, assigned the rights for the Caribbean to Warner’s JDI on Aug. 28, 2001.
According to the agreement, which the Compass has seen and reviewed, JDI sold those rights to the Caribbean Football Union for $4.25 million on Dec. 10, 2001.
The contract was signed by Warner and Harold Taylor on behalf of the Caribbean Football Union and witnessed by Esther Dubarry, a corporate secretary of several of Warner’s private companies. Warner was president of the CFU at the time and Trinidad football official Taylor was effectively his employee.
It is not clear how much Warner and J&D International benefited from the transaction, but FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen condemned in a confidential FIFA report in 2002 that Warner had received TV rights for the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups for “one dollar” from then-FIFA president Joao Havelange.
The 2002 World Cup rights had previously been handed to a Warner competitor, Caribbean Satellite Television Network. Due to circumstances unknown, KirchMedia canceled the contract amid legal wrangling and handed it to Warner’s J&D International instead.
J&D International also sold the 2006 and 2010 TV rights for the largest sporting event in the world to Sportsmax for a rumored $8 million and $10 million each.
Instead of handing the 2010 and 2014 World Cup TV to a sports marketing company, FIFA assigned the rights to the Caribbean Football Union, which sublicensed them to J&D International.
In 2011, following Warner’s resignation from all football activities amid bribery allegations, FIFA stripped the 2014 World Cup TV rights from J&D International and voided a deal with the original media rights licensee CFU, stating it had not agreed to the Caribbean Football Union sublicensing the rights to the company.
In 2011, an alleged $1.2 million bribe payment from the unsuccessful contender for FIFA presidency Mohamed bin Hammam to Warner was sent to J&D International’s bank account in Cayman, but returned by the bank, the Trinidad Express reported on June 9, 2015, quoting a U.S. Department of Justice document.
Citing U.S. federal investigators, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph in March 2014 reported the same incident, stating “at least one bank in the Cayman Islands initially refused to process the payment amid fears over the legality of the money transfer.”
Because the payment by bin Hammam’s Qatar-based company Kemco was also refused by U.S. banks, $1.2 million was eventually paid directly into Warner’s personal bank account in Trinidad “to offset professional services provided over the period 2005-2010,” according to the Trinidad Express report.
The Trinidad Express reported in May 2013 that Warner and his son Daryll Warner were the two shareholders of “JD International.” The Daily Telegraph said last year that investigators are thought to be focusing on Warner’s American and Grand Cayman accounts and that one of his sons was a cooperating witness. This was confirmed on May 27 when U.S. courts unsealed the indictment of Warner’s sons Daryan and Daryll, and one of the sons was revealed as a co-conspirator in the complaint against seven FIFA officials.
Both Warner sons have struck a plea deal and admitted wire fraud and money laundering violations.
The indictment against Webb and Warner alleges that an individual identified as “co-conspirator #7” was seeking support for his candidacy for FIFA president in the organization’s general elections during 2011.
Co-conspirator #7 has been identified as Mohamed bin Hammam.
The court records give details of a two-day meeting held on May 10 and 11, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Trinidad and Tobago, involving various member associations of the Caribbean Football Union, where co-conspirator #7 asked for the groups’ support during the upcoming June 1, 2011 FIFA presidential election.
The 2011 meeting in Trinidad was attended by both Webb, then president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, and former Cayman Islands Football Association Vice President David Frederick.
U.S. federal prosecutors allege that on May 10, 2011, following the speech by co-conspirator #7, Warner told representatives from the various football associations attending the conference that they could “pick up a gift” at a conference hotel room.
“The officials were instructed by [football union] staff members in the room to enter the room one at a time,” the criminal complaint alleges. “Inside the room, [staff] handed each official an envelope bearing the name of the member association he represented. Inside each envelope was US$40,000.”
In July 2011, responding to media reports about the incident, the Cayman Islands Football Association said its members “had refused to accept any bribes” at the May 2011 Trinidad meeting. “As has been widely reported in the international press, the initial report to the FIFA Ethics Committee highlighted the fact that the Bahamas Football Association, the Bermuda Football Association, the Cayman Islands Football Association, and Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association refused to accept the gift that was offered at the special meeting,” the Cayman Islands Football Association statement read.
On Aug. 11, 2011, FIFA announced in a press release that it had opened “ethics proceedings” against 16 Caribbean Football Union officials, including Mr. Frederick, related to the May 2011 meeting in Trinidad. On Aug. 18, 2011, the Cayman Compass reported that the Cayman Islands Football Association announced in a statement that: “David Frederick declined to be nominated as the first vice president for the next two years leaving that slot to be filled at a later date due to the fact that his decision was impromptu.”
On October 14, 2011, FIFA announced in a statement: “The cases of David Frederick (Cayman Islands) and Joseph Delves (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) were closed since they are no longer football officials. Should they return to football official positions, their cases would be examined again by the Ethics Committee.”
Mr. Frederick was contacted for comment by the Compass following news of the U.S. federal court indictments in May, but he has never responded.
FIFA sanctioned four Caribbean football chiefs as a result of the ethics probe into the Trinidad meeting, including Jamaican Football Federation president Horace Burrell. The senior officia
l was banned for six months, with three months of Mr. Burrell’s ban being deferred for a probationary period of two years. Mr. Burrell has publicly maintained that he did not accept any cash at the May 2011 meeting in Trinidad.
Mr. Burrell is a business partner of Mr. Webb’s at the Captain’s Bakery restaurant in the Cayman Islands.