Webb embezzled cash meant for poorest kids

| 07/12/2015 | 74 Comments
Cayman News Service

Google image of Jeffrey Webb’s home in Atlanta, Georgia

(CNS): As the international FIFA corruption scandal rolls on, the latest indictment by the United States Department of Justice outlines how Jeffrey Webb, the suspended Cayman Islands Football Association president, took cash meant for disaster relief and grassroots football programmes in some of the world’s poorest countries. Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden has again called for CIFA to clean house. On Thursday the US authorities revealed that Webb had admitted conspiracy charges relating to racketeering wire fraud and money laundering, having changed his not guilty pleas entered earlier this year when he waived extradition and went to America.

According to US records, Webb is not scheduled to be sentenced until next June. He remains under house arrest in his Atlanta home but he has already agreed to give up $6.7 million to the US authorities as forfeiture for the many more millions of dollars he is accused of embezzling in his role as president of both CIFA and CONCACAF, as well as FIFA Vice President.

News also broke Thursday of more charges against 16 FIFA officials and sports executives in a new 92-page indictment outlining the latest in the DoJ’s FIFA probe, which said that an unidentified Cayman-based lawyer assisted in the transfer of cash relating to Webb’s kick-backs from sports marketing firms. That new document also showed that corruption allegations against Webb went beyond bribes and kickbacks and included FIFA cash destined for the Goal Program, the Financial Assistance Program (FAP), and other aid and support programmes.

“Certain of the defendants and their co-conspirators, including the defendants Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb, took advantage of these opportunities and embezzled or otherwise personally appropriated funds provided by FIFA, including for disaster relief,” the indictment states.

Despite these latest revelations, Webb remains as the official president of CIFA. The acting president, Bruce Blake, who allegedly walked out of his job with a leading offshore law firm to temporarily fill Webb’s boots earlier this year, is expected to hold a meeting this week. Blake has been under pressure to hold fresh elections and lift the lid on the local association’s financial troubles here.

Minister Bodden, who withdrew the funding for CIFA from this year’s budget, has again called on the local association to change the management. “I don’t think the status quo can remain that long,” said Bodden. “It really wouldn’t be in our best interest as a country, and as a country we have to take a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to corruption and cooperate with whatever authorities require.”

Repeating earlier assertions that he could not support the current CIFA management, the minister said there would be no public cash until the organisation addressed some of the issues. “I think there’s a lot of unanswered questions. CIFA needs to be more transparent, more accountable. And when they do that, we as a government can support them,” he added.

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Comments (74)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Forget about being a ball player, management is where the real cash is!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now would someone audit the Cayman Islands Amateur Athletic Association going back 20 years when a lady and her cousin ran it like their personal fiefdom?

  3. Anonymous says:

    JW “But I was a poor kid. I thought the money was meant for me”

  4. Anonymous says:

    Re Blake’s departure from “a leading offshore firm”, is it improper to simply say Maples? is Maples the Voldemort of the legal world? Coming to think about it . . . .

  5. looking glass says:

    It was disconcerting to see the company owned by the president of the chamber of commerce doing the work on the supposed football field when one would think that such an individual would want to stay as far away as possible from what is increasingly becoming apparent to be a den of thieves.

  6. Anonymous says:

    And the Yanks will be redirecting the money to where it should have gone? Errrrr, no.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Most all Webb’s long term friends & associates have known for years he was conducting business in this fashion, as they assisted. Everyone of them should be packing up shop as the FEDS & IRS are coming. And the FEDS & IRS always get their man……just like Al Capone and since…….. they always get their man. Two entities you should never ever play games with……….. the FEDs & the IRS.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need to only clean house but we need to investigate its past dealings….or would too many of cayman’s old boys club be implicated?

  9. Equllay EVIL, CORRUPT and Heartless is the thief who stole from Old , dependent needy old people. And she was able to just it back and gone free in her country. No imprisonment and not Fraud record for her. I am just sayng all Thieves needed to not only pay back and have this on their record just like everyone else that does wrong

  10. I think we as a Govt and Society need to start requiring ALL Audits yearly from NOn PROFITS. If Jack and Jeff millionaires could be so heartless and take from the Poor , then for the childrens sake lets start requiring all these Organisations running around on island raising funds to give a account of where the money is spent

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Jackie as a treasurer of one of the Rotary Clubs I welcome the idea but it does have drawbacks. Cayman has more charities per capita than most countries in the world. The cost of an audit is prohibitive to many charities. For example to audit my club would be in the region of $10,000/ $15/000. As a past partner of a major accounting firm I can say that we did more than our share of pro bono work but there is a limit.

      That leaves two alternatives, government audits or individual auditors. The latter are precluded from doing audits unless they are licensed. Moreover the new proposed Charities Law may enforce the problem by mandatory audits of all charities as well as sporting organizations. You are talking about hundreds of such organizations.

      It is a real concern with numerous frauds taking place in community and service clubs. It requires a meeting of the minds of Government and the clubs. I would certainly be happy to move the idea along.

      The sad thing about CIFA is that their members, the football clubs, are turning a blind eye. I wonder why that is! Only they can fix the problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        Using Rotary as an example is stupid son LOL

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think that people are necessarily turning a blind eye, they don’t know where to turn to. The rabbit hole runs so deep and the web entangles so many. Clubs can not afford to have fall-out with people who are still in charge and they certainly can’t afford to lose the little funding they get.

        It is not just within CIFA – the entire Island is so deeply caught up with corruption, elbow wrapping, and ass slapping, it is mind boggling. The result of decades of leadership who didn’t give a XXX besides being re-elected.

      • As an old auditor (and former member of CISPA) I’m with Chris in this matter. A meeting of minds is exactly what’s needed. I would prefer not to have government auditors involved, because that would end up with require a whole new state-bureaucracy. And I’m not even in favour of compulsory audits for charities or anybody else.

        But I would like to see charities *publish* their financial statements every year. Meantime, members of the general public could do their bit by refusing to donate to any cause that fails to publish financial statements. that would be a good start.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good try, Mr Johnson, to speak rationally to someone who just wants to deflect us from Caymanian corruption by the usual means of saying the foreigners do it too but always get off scot free. Some of us feel she has a point but the case she is making innuendos about is nothing like the Webb one.

  11. Nowhere to run says:

    What really erks me is that his buddies were all drinking crystal, dinning at the best restaurants flying all over the world as his private entourage yet they walk around pretending they didn’t know. There names should be made public and their personal and business lives scrutinized.

  12. Up a pole with no ladder says:

    It used to make my stomach churn when I would hear people say how much Webb did for football in cayman. Anyone who had brains and eyes in their skull could see that NOTHING was ever done for the game in our islands. And anyone with integrity and ethics would NEVER have look at Webb and say he was a stand up guy. It’s only the small ignorant and extremely vocal minority of Caymanians that supported this loser. The rest of us could have cared less about him or the game and had long since found other sports of interest.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I do hope that Osbourne Bodden has the balls to have the investigation carried out and root out those past MLAs who is alledged to have participated in taking bribes from Webb and at least shame them or have them arrested. I hope it also comes out how they tried to sell a certain Association to a certain doctor and get 10% kick back

  14. Caymanian idiot says:

    He’s been doing this for yrs. Most of won’t remember but some 20yrs ago cifa was given a million dollars and 8 months later Jeffrey had a big old him hidden in spotts Newlands.

    WHAT A $$

  15. frangipani says:

    Ah tell unna ’bout gee-n unna money to these Tom, Dick and Harry’s walking around here begging for the poor……..how much of it actually gets to the poor?!!!
    Cayman needs to put a halt to a lot of these so called charities, in my opinion anyway.

  16. Knot S Smart says:

    He wont be sentenced until next year June and then he might get off lightly depending on how well he demonstrates that he can ‘sing’…
    So ladies and gentlemen – here comes our own homegrown version of Luciano Pavarotti…

  17. Anonymous says:

    And this is the reason that when someone says god bless I check my wallet is still in my pocket and there are no knives in my back.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I really must admire the coaches of the various clubs who give their time and efforts to teach the kids and pass on their love for the game. It takes a special person who can find the passion and motivation to keep going in the hot sun and with less than ideal football pitches and equipment despite knowing that some greedy bastards are living it up while screwing the youth programs left right and center out of their well deserved funding.

  19. Anonymous says:

    He is a disgrace!!!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Caynmankind at its best

    • Anonymous says:

      You are an idiot. Please, if you are here living on that island, pack up and leave if it bothers you so. Or is the CaymanMoney too good?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that’s not getting old.
      I’m sure Cayman was the farthest thing from his mind during all this, sole consideration was lining his pockets.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like many he could not help himself. If anyone knows anyone else doing the same just drop an anonymous tip to the local police station. They know who they are.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What a very horrible and spiteful thing to do.
    The chances for many kids are very poor due to their limited academic capability. Not everyone is a rocket scientist.
    In stealing from these funds (believe me, Webb is the tip of the iceberg. There are some powerful current and ex-MLAs who knew what was going on), a terrible blow was dealt to our aspiring sportspeople. Their programs were grossly under-funded while houses were bought, holidays were taken and “football” business was conducted in every luxury hotel around the world.

    I hope the full horror of what has transpired compels Mr. Webb to come totally clean about the depth of this deception and pledge the rest of his life to the underprivileged.

  22. Anonymous says:


  23. Knot S Smart says:

    I started reading the indictment but then decided that they should be lenient on all of them by just locking them all up and throwing away the keys…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear.

    – Who

  25. Anonymous says:

    Can you imagine if we actually equipped our Anti-Corruption Unit with the staff and resources needed to match its current workload, then maintained its capacity to properly function once its performance yielded wide-scale public trust and confidence? Holy cow!!

    • Polyakov says:

      Yes what a nice sales pitch, but when will they start investigating their own kind???? Jeff stolen from our kids and has got what he had coming top him but Tempura stole from us all, when will get to even see our documents we paid over $20 million for???

  26. Jg says:

    Just give him 18 years that should rehabilitate his theft problem 🙂

  27. WaYaSay says:

    Kudos to you Ozzie for speaking out on this matter, however I happen to know that your hands are tied with regards to how much you can interfere with CIFA because of their constitution, which Government signed on to many years ago.

    Your only recourse is to withhold Government funding. This is of little consequence to CIFA as the amount of money that FIFA makes available to CIFA makes Government money pale in comparison.

    These is one local organisation that does have in their constitution the power to reign in CIFA, or at least expel them and cut them off from FIFA funding. That organisation is the Cayman Islands Olimpic Committee (CIOC)

    The process works like this, football is an Olympic Sport, as such it has to sign onto and agree not to contravene the constitution and code of ethics of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and by verbage containef therein, they have to subscribe and abide by the constitution of CIOC and the Panamerican Sports Organisation (PASO).

    By the simple act of expelling CIFA from the CIOC, a chain of events will follow. With no recognition by CIOC, PASO will with will have to withdraw its recognition, without PASO’s sanction, the IOC will withdraw its recognition of CIFA.
    When the IOC withdraws its recognition of CIFA, then FIFA will have to drop them as well and Government will have to discontinue to recognise CIFA as the National Authority of Football in the Cayman Islands.

    This act alone will cut off the sources of funding for what is allegedly a criminal enterprise, modelled after the criminal enterprise that is FIFA. More importantly, it will clear the playing field for honest Caymanian people, steeped in the honest ways of the beautiful game of football, to start with a new, fresh association with a fresh constitution, to apply to CIOC and to Government to be the new face of football in Cayman and the National Authority for Football in Cayman.

    CIOC it is time to stand up and do the right thing………..you are the only ones with the constitunal power to do so!
    Make it happen and coach the member clubs of CIFA to leave, form a new association, get recognised by PASO, IOC, CONCACAF, FIFA and Government………… the ball is in your court.(pardon the pun)

    • Chris Johnson says:

      This may be a clever idea but guess what, who owns the actual football pitches? CIG. It may be better to look at the terms of the leases and the termination clauses.
      Moreover look at the actual controllers of CIFA. It is actually the club’s themselves. Are they complicit as well? Who got the tickets for Brazil that CIFA cannot account for as per the audit report?
      The club’s owe the people of the Cayman Islands an explanation as to why Webb remains the President, why Bruce Flake remains in charge, why there are no proper accounts, why the new pitch cost $5m and where the FIFA money of $2.2m went.
      Ozzie has given the government position and takes the right approach but the clubs control CIFA and they need to have the balls to do something constructive. If the presidents of the club’s do not do it, they need resign as should the entire CIFA executive committee.
      The alternative and preferred approach is to form a new association but who will fund it.

      • Anonymous says:

        How would a new association work? Would it be recognized by FIFA or any other international body?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yawns Ozzie only looking votes.. And he isn’t getting mines next election 🙂

        • Chris Johnson says:

          An application would need be made to FIFA, assuming that it is still around. With proper credentials and the support of the Government it would succeed. Anything is better that CIFA.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you know who owned the land before it was bought by CI FA

        • Chris Johnson says:

          I do not know but suspect that they obtained it following the cadastral survey many years ago. It is about 17 acres with maybe one third filled in. I suspect there is room for only two pitches. FIFA gave $350,000 for a second pitch. If you wish to view it bring your snorkel and mask.

        • Diego Maradonebanks says:

          Peppercorn lease, from the PPM. Now go check if their are any provisions in that lease agreement for extenuating circumstances such as those that currently exist.

    • The Donald says:

      One assumes that the CIOC is any better of course. Good luck with that.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I can not think of where else in the world something like this can actually happens, 5 days after pleading guilty of taking bribes and kickbacks from equally corrupt marketing companies and misappropriation of FIFA funds meant for football development and disaster relief, Mr. Webb still president of CIFA, and Bruce Blake is “expecting” to hold a meeting early this week! Serious!
    Although we do not have professional football in our country this is a matter of public interest, football does not belong to JW or BB or anyone else. It is time the member clubs
    take some action, specially now when you know where the funding has been going for years. Now you know why your teams do not get any assistance to compete in any international tournaments, equipment, etc? Have the courage to act now!

    • O'Really Factor says:

      It takes a special kind of a$$hole to be this wicked and corrupt!

    • Anonymous says:

      11:53am you are correct. The local clubs who has the constitutional power to reform CIFA needs to be educated and rehabilitated out of the culture that Jeff established in the last twenty years on how football should be run locally. I also use this opportunity to commend the few local people in football who over the years was highlighting and trying to expose Jeff and his corrupt administration of the game locally. eg. FIFA FAP Grant, round about 5 million dollars, all of the fund raising events at Ritz Carlton, Hurricane Ivan disaster fund, FIFA GOAL PROJECT, GOVERNMENT GRANTS etc. Why do the Minister for sports keeping supporting CIFA by allowing them to use the government facilities and fields to run the local leagues. If Minister Bodden want CIFA to be reformed all he has to do is stop them using the Government facilities. Because the only leg that CIFA is standing on right now is the running of the local football leagues. And as long as the leagues is running the majority of clubs are just interested in playing and don’t have no interest in how the game is administrated. This is the reason why members of Jeff administration is still running the game locally. I implore the Honorable Minister Bodden to explore all options in how to get a new administration for running football locally.

  29. Anonymous says:

    F the kids, I just want to use the pool.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe a word, can’t be true.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Stealing from children…….what a pig! Actually no…..pigs have more scruples than this heartless dirt bag. .

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