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1 Jun 2015 04:22pm

Accountant embroiled in FIFA scandal

A chartered accountant from London has been arrested as part of the FIFA corruption investigation

Last week a number of high profile FIFA executives, including vice-president and Cayman Islands resident Jeffrey Webb, were arrested in dawn raids at their five-star hotel in Zurich on corruption and bribery charges.

One of those detained was London-born and trained accountant Costas Takkas, who acted as attaché to Webb. Takkas was previously general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association.

The group, including Takkas, is accused by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), following an FBI investigation, of using their positions to “engage in schemes involving the solicitation, offer, acceptance, payment, and receipt of undisclosed and illegal payments, bribes, and kickbacks”.

Takkas, who is based in Miami, is alleged to have used a firm called Kosson Ventures, registered in the British Virgin Islands and with bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, to facilitate illegal payments between a South American sports marketing agency, Traffic, and FIFA officials.

According to the indictment, Webb, with Takka's aid and assistance, used his influence to solicit a bribe from Traffic to acquire from CFU (Caribbean Football Union) the commercial rights of its members to the qualifier matches to be played in advance of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

According to the DoJ, “Takkas told CoConspirator #4 that Webb wanted a $3m bribe in exchange for his agreement to cause the CFU contract to be awarded to Traffic USA”.

After receiving the funds, the DoJ continues, Takkas wired a portion to an account in his name at Citibank in Miami. He subsequently transferred the funds to an account in the name of a swimming pool builder at United Community Bank in Blairsville, Georgia, for the benefit of Webb, who was having a pool built at his home there.

He transferred another portion of the funds directly from his Kosson Ventures account at Fidelity Bank in the Cayman Islands to SunTrust Bank in Georgia for Webb's benefit.

Following his arrest, he has been suspended as CFO of Miami-based metals company Abakan.

Takkas could not be reached for comment.

Raymond Doherty

 

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