Former FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb has asked a U.S. court for more time to pay off US$1.7 million owed as part of an asset forfeiture agreement made after his 2015 guilty plea to racketeering and money laundering charges.
The lion’s share – US$1.43 million – has already been obtained from the sale of two U.S. properties, according to Webb’s New York attorneys.
However, arrangements could not be made for repayment of the remaining US$270,442.70 in time to meet the initial deadline, which was Monday.
Webb’s attorney, Edward O’Callaghan, sought and obtained an extension through Jan. 23, 2018, to pay the remainder.
According to court records, Webb owns another four properties in the U.S. state of Georgia, but their potential sale is not straightforward.
“The title to each of these four remaining Georgia properties must be transferred to him from the current title holders, which are corporate entities over which Mr. Webb has no control,” Mr. O’Callaghan’s letter to the court states.
The attorney further noted that he has discussed the potential sale of the properties with the individual who does control the corporate entities and the person “does not dispute” Webb’s ownership of the homes. However, time will be needed to make arrangements to transfer title to Webb so he can sell at least two of the four Georgia properties, attorneys said. Once those properties are sold, the remaining forfeiture amount presently due will be paid, Mr. O’Callaghan said.
The owner of the corporate entities referred to in court records was not identified.
As part of a plea in November 2015 to U.S. racketeering, money laundering conspiracy and wire transfer conspiracy charges, Webb agreed to forfeit more than US$6.7 million in total, federal prosecutors said.
Webb’s guilty plea was announced as federal investigators expanded their worldwide probe into the FIFA organization, charging 16 more people – mostly representatives of Central and South American football associations who were not named in the case’s original indictment filed in May 2017.
The existing 92-count indictment supersedes, meaning encompasses and replaces, the 47-count indictment in May, in which 14 FIFA and sports marketing officials were charged with soliciting and accepting bribes in exchange for awarding the commercial rights to certain football tournaments to sports marketing companies.
Webb is expected to be sentenced in January for his role in the racketeering scheme.