Secret KPMG letters reveal FIFA rackets
By Andrew Jennings
Sunday November 20, 2011
This weekend Blatter granted interviews to reporters too polite to ask the FIFA president about the documentary evidence proving his corruption. One was a reporter from a local paper in the Canton of Aargau. In that interview Herr Blatter reveals his exclusive relationship with God and claims he is guiding him through his corruption battles.
Last week we revealed that Blatter – in defiance of all good governance practices – insists on retaining the right to sign cheques and contracts on his own, without the knowledge of anybody in his FIFA ‘family’. You can bet he never revealed that to Transparency International.
We start with yet another example of Blatter moving money out of FIFA. Then follows two specials for Brazilian cops and taxmen – and sponsors who wonder where their money goes.
To The Rich Shall be Given FIFA’s money
By Andrew Jennings
One of the first things Sepp Blatter did after becoming FIFA president in 1998 was to give FIFA money to a country that had financially supported his presidential bid.
He owed them money, he didn’t have enough pay his debt, but FIFA did. So Blatter had a quick word with his über-loyal chair of the Finance committee, Argentina’s sleazy Julio Grondona, and without telling anybody else they bunged SFr 470,000 ($680,000) to somebody in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s richest countries.
Blatter claimed that the SFr 470,000 was to cover an ‘overspending’ from the previous year when Saudi staged the Confederations Cup. Previously this competition, known as the King Fahd Cup, had been entirely funded by the Saudis whatever the cost.
Few at FIFA have more dishonest financial reputations than Blatter and Grondona. They told KPMG in 1999 their tale that the money had gone to Saudi. But it’s hard to believe that’s what happened. If so, who received it? Nobody else at FIFA knows because the rest of the Finance Committee wasn’t asked to approve the payment.
In their confidential Management Letter FIFA’s faithful auditor Fredy Luthiger – always well-looked after by Blatter at World Cups – mumbled that in future the finance committee should be involved in ‘such payments’.
Blatter, no doubt smirking, agreed to their faces. But he ignored the request, keeping the right to be sole signatory on FIFA cheques until the present day.
Grondona’s secret offshore bank accounts, disclosed in a covert video recorded by a business associate, are now being investigated by Argentine police. That’s not surprising. German reporter Jens Weinreich has added up the many accounts, mostly in Switzerland and discovered an astounding $121 million dollars. Grondona declines to explain where the money comes from.
FIFA – the money-laundering bank
By Andrew Jennings
It was a normal day in FIFA’s Finance Department office. In walked Executive Committee member Ricardo Teixeira carrying a big bulging bag. ‘How can we help you, Sir?’ he was asked.
Teixeira opened the bag and out tumbled an astonishing $400,000 in cash! He claimed the money was an advance payment due to the Brazilian federation (CBF) for the costs of their appearance at the 1998 World Cup in France. Nobody in the Finance Department dared ask why Teixeira was carrying such a huge amount of cash, where he got it from - or what he was doing with it in 2000, 18 months after the end of France 1998.
If this was all very odd, it soon got more mysterious. Teixeira said he wanted them to take the money and transfer it to the CBF account. The Finance clerks were puzzled – they recalled that this money had already been paid to the federation. But when they checked, there was no record of the money arriving at the CBF.
One-stop money laundering
Trying to prevent whatever racket Teixeira had in mind, the clerks agreed to transfer the money to the CBF – but insisted it went to the federation’s current account, marked as a payment from him. Oh no, said Teixeira, that isn’t what I want.
Instead he asked for the money to be returned to him – but this time in a cheque. Amazingly, he got it. In that moment, FIFA House changed from being the home of football into a one-stop, criminal, money-laundering shop.
However, a couple of days later Teixeira changed his mind, went back to the FIFA office, returned the cheque and asked for his cash back. Astonishingly, FIFA’s finance department agreed - and gave him the $400,000 back in a bag.
What happened next? Was it really World Cup money? Where did the money go? Teixeira and FIFA’s Media office refuse to say. The story is buried on page 19 of the confidential annual Management Letter sent by FIFA’s auditors, the Zurich branch of KPMG to Blatter in 2000.
KPMG, were politely horrified, recommending that in future cheques or cash should only be made to ‘authorised people.’ Straight faced, Blatter agreed.
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