A US federal probe is investigating allegations that FIFA's former Vice President Jack Warner misappropriated $750,000 of relief fund money he raised to aid Haiti after that country's devastating earthquake in 2010. It's the latest incident of alleged behind-the-scenes corruption at the world soccer organization.
US investigators allege that Warner, 72, who is also being investigated for his role in a host of other bribery and fraud charges, diverted the emergency funds donated by FIFA and the South Korean Football Association (SKFA) away from victims of the Haiti disaster and into his bank accounts for "personal use," documents obtained by the BBC show.
The former vice-president of the embattled soccer association was arrested last month in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago, where he is a former politician and businessman. He is facing extradition on money laundering and corruption charges that Warner has denied.
Allegations about Warner's alleged misuse of Haiti emergency funds previously surfaced in 2012, when the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) alleged that the $250,000 from FIFA and $500,000 from the SKFA were disbursed straight into an account controlled solely by Warner.
Warner called the allegations a conspiracy at the time, saying, "I have nothing to answer to anybody." After the allegation surfaced, FIFA subsequently cut off funding to the TTFF.
Over the weekend, the BBC reported that Warner had also allegedly misappropriated $10 million from South Africa's Football Association intended to be used for a so-called "diaspora legacy programme" to foster the growth of football in the Caribbean.
Warner instead allegedly spent the funds on cash withdrawals, personal loans, and to launder money, according to documents that form part of the US investigation. He has continued to deny any wrongdoing on all accounts.
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