Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant obtained a copy of the indictments against 14 people.
Out of all the names, one stood out: FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb, of the Cayman Islands. Diamant learned that Webb has a large presence in metro Atlanta.
Diamant went to Webb’s mansion in Loganville. Prosecutors say Webb used bribe money to install a massive pool on the property and buy other properties in our area.
It’s all laid out an inch-thick indictment over an alleged multimillion dollar international conspiracy to cash in on soccer.
Among those hiding behind bed sheets after their arrests in Switzerland on charges of sweeping corruption within the world’s biggest sport was FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb, a man with strong ties to metro Atlanta.
“Not anybody that’s close to the soccer world was surprised at all. I mean, it’s laughable and common knowledge for the better part of the last 25 years that the bid process was corrupt,” said Griff Simms, president of the Georgia Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association.
Webb is one of more than a dozen soccer bigwigs indicted in an alleged decades-long, $150 million bribery scheme, which prosecutors say rigged where World Cup and other international matches would be played and who would broadcast them.
“All of these defendants abuse the U.S. financial system and violated U.S. law, and we intend to hold them accountable,” said U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Webb is also president of the confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football.
Channel 2 Action News spoke with Webb at the league’s gold cup tournament in 2013 in Atlanta.
“Around the world sports and football — soccer — is a big part of culture, part of the fabric of everyday life, and we believe that we’re starting to see that emerging within Atlanta,” Webb said.
Federal agents raided CONCACAF Miami offices this week.
Prosecutors said Webb used bribe-money for a pool behind his Loganville home, and to buy properties in Conyers and Stone Mountain.
“They corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and to enrich themselves,” Lynch said.
A lot of people are calling Webb’s arrest ironic because he was one of the FIFA officials who called for the release of a 2014 investigation into allegations of corruption surrounding bids for upcoming World Cup tournaments.
Webb and the others charged in this case are expected to be extradited back to the United States.