New York court awards Concacaf $79m in Warner case, but extradition still the big issue

jack warner

By Paul Nicholson

July 11 – A New York judge has awarded a $79 million default judgement against Jack Warner and in favour of Concacaf.

Warner, who is still fighting extradition from Trinidad to the US over the separate indictment brought against him by the US Justice Department in 2015, was convicted in his absence last month for bribes and kickbacks during his times as a FIFA executive committee member and president of Concacaf.

In 2017 Concacaf claimed millions of dollars had been taken in exchange for FIFA executive committee votes for World Cup hosting, while domestically he had received kickbacks for the award of broadcast rights to major events, including the 2010 World Cup.

Warner, although served papers in Trinidad where he is still battling extradition, did not have representation in court.

“There can be no doubt that Warner and (Chuck) Blazer (former Concacaf general secretary) victimized Concacaf, stealing and defrauding it out of tens of millions of dollars in brazen acts of corruption for their own personal benefit at the expense of the entire Concacaf region,” the Concacaf complaint said.

Concacaf claimed no less than $20 million saying it was entitled to three times that amount as well as recovery costs and legal fees. Judge William Kuntz agreed to evaluate the costs based on the evidence submitted to the court, the result being the $79 million judgement.

Concacaf have already settled a similar complaint with the Blazer estate for $20 million but are unlikely to see any of that money due to money owed to US tax authorities whose stand in first position on the debt, with legal fees likely to swallow up any leftover.

Earlier this month Warn­er failed in his ap­peal against the dis­missal of his law­suit chal­leng­ing the ex­tra­di­tion re­quest. Three Judges of the Court of Ap­peal up­held the original de­ci­sion to dis­miss his ju­di­cial re­view law­suit in Sep­tem­ber 2017.

He could stave off being sent to the US with the Appeal Court staying the ruling by the three judges for 21 days pending an application by Warner for permission to argue his case at the Privy Council. Local Trinidad sources are sceptical that Warner will win that argument though Warner has proved adept at hanging on to his Trinidad.

Warner is accused of 12 offences related to racketeering, corruption and money laundering, allegedly committed in the US and Trinidad and Tobago, dating as far back as 1990. Warner, currently on $2.5 million bail, has not left his homeland since the original arrests of FIFA officials by the US Department of Justice in May 2015.

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