A previously unidentified player in the international FIFA corruption probe has revealed specific football bribe payments that he told U.S. federal investigators were intended for Jeffrey Webb. One of those payments, he said, was sent to the Florida bank account of a “Caymanian attorney.”
Miguel Trujillo, originally from Colombia, pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court Tuesday in connection with charges in relation to the FIFA probe. According to court records, Trujillo had been licensed by FIFA to arrange football matches between certain members of FIFA’s Central and North American and Caribbean region (CONCACAF), mostly involving “friendly” matches in the region. Miguel Trujillo is a different individual from Hector Trujillo of Guatemala, who was named in the FIFA indictment released Dec. 3, 2015.
Miguel Trujillo is alleged to have arranged a number of bribe payments through “sham” companies he owned, all at the behest of sports marketing executives who federal prosecutors said were paying off ranking FIFA members – including Webb, the former CONCACAF president and FIFA vice president – in exchange for receiving the commercial rights to football tournaments.
One deal involving Webb and the Caribbean Football Union was related to union members’ rights to 2018 and 2022 World Cup qualifying matches in the Caribbean, which were sold to Traffic USA, a sports marketing firm.
The indictment against Trujillo, made public after his guilty plea Tuesday, alleges that at the behest of sports marketing company Media World executive Roger Huguet, Trujillo made a series of wire transfer payments that he “understood were likely bribe payments for the benefit of Jeffrey Webb.”
Using a Panamanian bank account attached to a company he owned, prosecutors said Trujillo doctored an invoice that was submitted to a production company that was also involved in the FIFA bribery scam. After receiving about US$500,000 from the unidentified production company based on the bogus invoices, a number of payments were made.
According to the indictment against Trujillo, wire transfer payments from the US$500,000 to his company included US$80,000 that ended up in a Citibank account in Miami, Florida, held in the name of a Caymanian attorney “whose identity is known to the United States [district] attorney.”
Officials with the Eastern District Court in Brooklyn, New York, have declined to provide the Caymanian attorney’s identity. As far as the Cayman Compass is aware, the individual has not been charged in the FIFA indictment. In addition, another US$170,000 wire transfer from the bribe funds acquired by Trujillo was routed through a series of transfers to a bank in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The account that received the money there was held in the name of Kosson Ventures, a company prosecutors allege was controlled by Costas Takkas, a former Cayman Islands resident.
It is alleged in the FIFA indictment that payments from Media World were ultimately received by Takkas, Webb’s attache. Prosecutors have alleged in a number of cases that Takkas passed those payments to Webb.
Webb has pleaded guilty to seven counts in the indictment against him, including racketeering, money laundering conspiracy and wire transfer conspiracy. He faces sentencing in June.
Takkas is still believed to be in custody of Swiss officials following his May 27, 2015 arrest just prior to FIFA’s annual general meeting in Zurich.