A Georgia, USA mansion that both Cayman Islands and U.S. prosecutors allege was bought with the proceeds of fraudulent activity is being sold by its owner, Caymanian businessman Jeffrey Webb, his attorneys confirmed Monday.
The proceeds of the sale of the house at 2116 Adel Drive in Loganville, Georgia will be turned over to the American federal court as part of an asset forfeiture agreement Webb made when he pleaded guilty to U.S. racketeering, money laundering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges in connection with the ongoing FIFA bribery investigation.
Webb and his family plan to relocate to another house in Georgia “in an effort to conserve their financial resources,” his attorney Edward O’Callaghan wrote in a June 19 letter to the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York.
The home’s purchase price and the location of Webb’s new residence were not disclosed in federal court documents.
House valued at US$931,000
The three-story mansion valued in 2015 at US$931,000 in the small town east of Atlanta had a swimming pool built on the property with the proceeds of bribes funneled through several international bank accounts, front companies and intermediaries, U.S. federal prosecutors have alleged.
The 9,851-square-foot home, which is listed as having six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, is owned by Webb and his wife, Atlanta-area physician Kendra Gamble-Webb, according to Rockdale County, Georgia, tax records. It is one of several properties Webb owns in the state of Georgia that were potentially subject to asset forfeiture proceedings.
U.S. prosecutors alleged Webb received millions in bribes between 2012 and 2015 when he served as a regional vice president for world football’s governing body, FIFA. Webb was arrested along with six other FIFA officials in Zurich, Switzerland on May 27, 2015 in connection with a scheme that prosecutors said awarded the commercial rights for international football matches and tournaments to sports marketing companies in exchange for kickbacks given to FIFA officials.
Sentencing extension requested
Webb pleaded guilty to seven counts in the FIFA indictment in November 2015. His sentencing date for those charges has been pushed back several times since then, with the latest date – July 11 – also in question after Mr. O’Callaghan requested an extension until January 2018.
A separate criminal scheme in Cayman, involving the public hospital patient swipe-card system, CarePay, also funded a portion of the home purchase, Crown prosecutors claim. The CarePay case also provided details of how football cash Webb controlled was shifted around for other purposes.
According to testimony in the 2016 trial of Webb associate Canover Watson, US$250,000 was transferred to Webb’s Wells Fargo bank account in Georgia from a company called Advanced Integrated Systems [*] on April 6, 2011. This money, it was alleged at trial, originated from the Cayman Islands Football Association of which Webb was president at the time and where Watson served as treasurer.
This money ultimately went to help pay off a portion of Webb’s home loan in Georgia, both Crown prosecutors and Watson alleged during the CarePay trial.
Watson was convicted in February 2016 of fraud and corruption offenses related to the CarePay scheme. Webb was charged in the case, but has never appeared in Cayman to face trial because of his arrest and guilty plea in the FIFA probe.
In addition to the sentencing date deferral request, Webb’s attorneys have also sought to allow him “light travel” within the continental U.S.
Mr. O’Callaghan has asked federal prosecutors to allow Webb to travel anywhere within the state of Georgia, as opposed to the 50-mile radius from his current home.
The attorneys further request that Webb be allowed to take domestic flights within the U.S. to visit with immediate family and friends who live outside Georgia.
Some of the family members are not well enough to travel, Mr. O’Callaghan wrote.
The court had not assented to any requests for travel modifications or to Webb’s request to delay sentencing as of press time Tuesday.
Webb, once touted as the man who would replace former FIFA President Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter at the top of world football’s governing body, has apparently fallen out with his mentor.
Author David Conn wrote in The Guardian newspaper that during a recent interview he did with the ex-FIFA boss, Blatter “singled out” Webb as “the most breathtaking scoundrel” of all those in the FIFA corruption scandal.
On the morning of May 27, 2015, Webb was the first one to be arrested by Swiss authorities who were working in tandem with U.S. agents in the FIFA investigation, Blatter recalled to Conn.
“How can you be misled by that or by yourself to say this man is a correct man?” Blatter recalled. “I was already thinking that he could be tomorrow the president of FIFA, a good person, a strong man.”
[*] Editor’s note: Corrects the name of the company that transferred US$250,000 to a Georgia bank account.