U.S. District Judge William Kuntz ordered Jack Warner, now 76, to pay the amount for a 2017 civil action lawsuit accusing him of embezzling tens of millions of dollars from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf). Failing to contest the charges, the judge made the order from a federal court in Brooklyn Tuesday.
The soccer association “intends to pursue all available avenues to enforce the judgment in any jurisdiction where Concacaf has reason to believe Mr. Warner may have assets,” prosecuting lawyer in the case, John Kuster said in a Wednesday statement.
Warner, is a main defendant in widespread investigation into FIFA for bribes and embezzlement. As far back as 2011, Warner was banned from serving any positions within international football federation after he was investigated for corruption by its ethics committee. Warner served on the federation’s executive committee since 1983 and was Concacaf president from 1990 until his forced resignation eight years ago. He also served as FIFA vice president.
Warner is also wanted in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago, also on FIFA-related corruption charges. In 2006, the high-ranking football official embezzled an excess of a TT$173 million (over US$25 million under the current exchange rate) to the Trinidad and Tobago government for the nation’s participation in that year’s World Cup.
The New York suit accuses Warner of accepting a US$10 million payment, parts of which he dolled out to other FIFA authorities who were also part of the deal, for his vote to hold the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“Unsurprisingly, when the FIFA Executive Committee vote was held on May 15, 2004, South Africa was selected over Morocco to host the 2010 World Cup. Warner … voted for South Africa.”
Warner’s sons, Daryll and Daryan, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in the criminal case in 2013. They’re both out on bail though are still awaiting sentencing.
At least 23 other FIFA leaders based in South America and Europe have plead guilty to embezzling and kickbacks to the same New York court over the past several years. The U.S. Department of Justice has linked dozens of former FIFA officials to more than US$150 million in bribes.