Watson embroiled in CONCACAF civil case

| 08/02/2016 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service

Canover Watson exits the courthouse after being found guilty of corruption in the Cayman Islands

(CNS): As Canover Watson began serving a seven-year sentence for corruption Friday, another public scandal he is involved in can now be revealed following the lifting of reporting restrictions on a civil lawsuit filed in the US. In the civil action by CONCACAF against travel firm, Cartan Tours, Watson is accused of being involved in a corrupt deal, along with Jeffrey Webb and Enrique Sanz, the former CONCACAF president and secretary general, in relation to a hospitality contract.

Speaking in mitigation during Watson’s sentencing ruling on Friday, defence attorney Trevor Burke QC said his client was a good man who had done one bad thing. However, the legal action filed in the district of California alleges that, at the same time he was taking millions of dollars from the Cayman Islands public purse in the CarePay swindle, Watson was also embroiled in elements of the regional football corruption scandal, in which his close friend, Jeffrey Webb, has been convicted of racketeering.

The suit alleges (page 12) that Watson, Webb and Bruce Blake, the current president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, met Daniel Gamba, one of Carton’s employees, at the London Olympics. CONCACAF alleges in the suit that a secret meeting at the May Fair Hotel in London in August 2012 between Webb, Watson and Gamba led to a corruption relationship whereby Cartan eventually secured a contract for all of CONCACAF’s travel arrangements and hospitality services for major events, through which an enormous amounts of money was creamed off in kickbacks and inflated invoices.

In a similar pattern to that revealed in the CarePay case, the suit alleges that Watson was involved in the creation of a fraudulent contract to present to the other CONCACAF executives in September 2014 to ensure the graft was not discovered. In the suit Watson and Webb are described as “experts at creating schemes for kickbacks and commercial bribes in exchange for lucrative contracts”.

The document also reveals (on page 23) that in 2013 Carton made a “mysterious loan” of $600,000 to the Cayman Islands Football Association at the request of Webb, then CIFA president, and Watson, then CIFA treasurer. The loan document was signed by Bruce Blake on behalf of CIFA. On the same day, CIFA received another $600,000 “loan” from Forward Sports.

The suit further alleges that Carton employee Marjorie Burrell was installed in CONCACAF’s Cayman Islands office in order to bypass CONCACAF staff on all travel bookings made for the organisation. “She was also used as a direct line by Webb to book private trips and clandestine rendezvous for him and his numerous extramarital girlfriends,” the suit says.

CNS has reached out to Blake who has agreed to talk about the issues alleged. Check back to CNS tomorrow for more details. Questions have also been submitted to Watson’s legal team but so far there has been no response.

CONCACAF v. Carton Tours Inc., et al

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Category: Courts, Crime, USA, World News

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    They is also a lot of corruption that was done in the PPM time. Anyone knows when the investigations gonna start?. Investigate everyone be fair

    • Anonymous says:

      Judging by your spelling, you are grabbing at straws to justify your worship of the Gambler of pure heart and sticky fingers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can be the only reason Alden has not done the right thing and set up an Inquiry into the CarePay affair.

  2. Dan 5:25 And this is the inscription that was written:


    :26 This is the interpretation of each word.
    MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished
    :27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and
    found wanting;
    :28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to
    the Medes and Persians.
    This is about the best I can offer on this mess!…it makes me puke!

    • Anonymous says:

      George , even when you speak “English” it is difficult to understand what you are saying.

  3. Sharkey says:

    Anonymous 08/ 02/ 2016 2:35 pm. If the facts of your comment is a 100 % true , then I think that every man, woman, and child in Cayman Islands should be so outraged with CIFA that they should go to Government and protest to have the Association desolved, and all involved prosecuted. Those people are dishonest, disgraceful , criminals and should not have any place in this world or heaven.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me give you a little more information about the actions of the majority of the present CIFA EXCO and others who jump ship after JW arrest. During the built up for the WC 2018 qualifying game against Belice the team did not have a field to practice on a regular basis, it was only by the efforts of Renard Moxan that the team manage to train in BT, NS, EE or TBSC ,Renard received no support from the other CIFA members to make sure a facility was made available to National Team to train. Renard also requested a small stipend for the player to purchase proper playing shoes, as the game was scheduled for the TBSC and rain was a real possibility,as you may know the local football games are played on artificial turf.
      The answer by the acting president and acting general secretary at the times was that they did not want to set a precedent and everyone else would be asking for the same. Renard managed to get some assistance for the Ministry of Sports, however the local shops did not have 6 stud shoes available. Do you know the team slept at the family life center in bunk beds the night the game because no funds were available for hotel in our own island. Think about that.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Things that make you go hmmmmm….

    “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    if you guys read this is not criminal proceedings it is civil against the travel company

    • Anonymous says:

      so, is that saying there are civil; crooks and criminal crooks, we know that!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is pity. It should be criminal because that it is what it is. You should read the court documents to see how prominent our heros, Canover Watson and Jeff Webb, were in setting up the corruption scheme at the expense of our sons and daughters who love to play the game. Who else travel with JW in his extramarital escapees at the expense of concacaf and the national association?

    • SSM345 says:

      4:28, can you change your name from Anonymous to Captain Obvious?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Run Bobo run!

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is unfortunate, just like Canover Watson tried to hide behind lies and fake documents the current CIFA EXCO is trying to do the same. Can they not see the amount of damage they have done already, the number of dreams they have crushed by misappropriating funds intended for the development of the game, Anyone of us who have sons and daughters who love this game and have seem how they were never fully supported by CIFA due to the lack of funds. We should be outraged. How our children were always sent to failed not matter how hard they tried because the only interest CIFA have is to fill the own pockets. As recent as the last WC 2018 qualifying round CIFA did not make any funds available for the players to assist them in the preparation for the games, players had to fund everything themselves, equipment, time off work and even meals during trips.
    Now we learn that JW had a personal secretary to plan for his extramarital trips at the expense of the game while our boys could not get a $20.00 allowance for out of pockets expenses during a trip to Haiti last year. Disgrace!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Its a gift that’s going to keep on giving, and long may it continue as there is no doubt much more to discover.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Who is Carton anyway?

  10. Sharkey says:

    Sounds like he may never get out of prison, now that he has been the convict and convicted of dishonesty and corruption. I don’t think that it’s wrong to have the same Judge and Jury , scene they know the man and understand the cases.
    Did Cayman at one time send criminal to blue mountain in Jamaica to work with pick axes ? Why did they stop it ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    ALL the CIFA Executive especially the Jeff Webb puppets like Bruce Blake must resign.

    We deserve to see the full books. There must be a full forensic audit of CIFA going back at a minimum of 15 years.

    Corporate Cayman must pull all sponsorships until the there is an entire new Executive Committee of CIFA.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:33 Not just CIFA but CICA also needs to be audited. What happened to all the Stanford 20/20 money? In 2006 Canover told me CICA was in line to receive $millions from Stanford but you’d be hard pushed to find any evidence of that money now.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Signed by Bruce Blake you say? Do tell us more . . .

  13. Anonymous says:

    Marjorie Burrell eh? Any relation to a Captain?

  14. The Donald says:

    Again I ask, which other local sporting organization uses Cartan Tours, more importantly, why?

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