A U.S. federal court has set Nov. 6, 2017 as the start date for what prosecutors expect will be at least a two-month trial for eight defendants charged in the FIFA corruption probe.
However, several defendants – including former Cayman Islands resident Costas Takkas – have sought to separate their cases from the others, but prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York proposed to try the eight defendants together.
In addition to Takkas, other former FIFA officials or sports marketers facing trial in the case from the Caribbean region include Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, Julio Rocha of Honduras, Guatemalan judge Hector Trujillo and Miami-based sports marketing executive Aaron Davidson.
On Monday, U.S. prosecutors indicated that all eight defendants now before the court might not make it to trial since plea negotiations are ongoing.
Both Takkas and Davidson have ties to Cayman’s Jeffrey Webb, according to prosecutors. Webb pleaded guilty last year to seven criminal counts in the FIFA indictment alleging that he used his position as FIFA vice president to solicit bribes from sports marketing companies – including Davidson’s company – in exchange for awarding commercial rights for certain football tournaments to the sports marketers.
Webb faces sentencing on Nov. 18. FIFA this month banned him for life from all football activities.
The U.S. indictment filed against the suspects in the FIFA case allege that Takkas handled some of the bribe money that was eventually directed to Webb in various ways and that the U.K. national kept some of the illicit proceeds from the scheme for himself.
The FIFA probe has unearthed other links to Webb, and potentially to Cayman, but no further charges have been brought by federal authorities in connection with those matters.