$24M fine for marketing firm that bribed Webb

| 11/07/2018 | 42 Comments
Cayman News Service

Jeffrey Webb

(CNS): Spanish sports media company, Imagina, which was caught up in the FIFA corruption scandal, having paid $3 million in bribes to Jeffrey Webb from the Cayman Islands, has been ordered to pay $24 million in fines and restitution by a New York judge after its affiliate company in the US pleaded guilty to bribery charges. A lawyer for the Florida-based affiliate admitted in court that the company bribed FIFA officials in exchange for marketing rights to qualifying games for the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Webb, a local football hero before his spectacular downfall in the scandal, cooperated with the US authorities that prosecuted the case and pleaded guilty in December 2015 to money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy charges. But the former CIFA and CONCACAF president and FIFA VP has still not been sentenced for his part in the wide-ranging scandal. After numerous adjournments, Webb is now scheduled to learn his fate in September, if the hearing goes ahead.

It is not clear if Webb, who has paid back more than $6.7 million, will serve any time in jail or if he will be extradited back to his native Cayman to face charges here in the corruption case surrounding the hospital payment system, CarePay.

Webb was charged alongside his close friend and business partner, Canover Watson, who was convicted in May 2016 of various corruption offences. Despite receiving a seven-year jail term, however, Watson was released earlier this year after serving just over two years.

Both men are also said to be subjects of an ongoing corruption investigation into the finances of the Cayman Islands Football Association, though so far no charges have been brought in that case.

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Category: Courts, Crime, USA, World News

Comments (42)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just wait until you see Jeff and Blatter either side of Putin at the final.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Jeff must wished he faced a Cayman jury. They would have let him off.

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  3. West Bay Premier says:

    The dishonest crooks should have everything including house and all taken away from them all involved ,

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Inmates at northward should be suing! How can conover possibly be out after serving 2 years? Huh? One rule for them and one rule for us! Guess thats the cayman way

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    • West Bay Premier says:

      7 : 26am , you’re absolutely right , and all the prisoners should be demanding the same treatment that Watson got , that guy needs to finish every minute of his 7 years , XXXXXX

      I would like to see the prisoners act like the Cubans that is on a hungry strike , then the way that government is operating would change .

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      • Anonymous says:

        He robbed the sick and dying and got a slap on the wrist. Can’t wait to see his face in public and see who is spending time with him.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cartan Tours seems to be carrying along normally at a cruise altitude well above the law!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I find it amazing how nobody sees a problem when an individual can face jail time for a crime while a ‘company’ does the same thing and gets a fine. It’s these kinds of injustices that allow corrupt people to continue the cycle.

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  7. Goalitch SunofBitch says:

    Uaaaah this is meant to remind us how corrupt FIFA is and all the Caymanians who did not support the Bring the CUP Home dreamers, boy that 2 – 1 result hurting some eh??? Big respect to our Croat brethren small axe fall big old tree the lesson learned here today! Oooooh yeah feel the heat in unnah draws seat !!!! Land of the football gods could not cut the Grey poupon Mustard! Sit down be humble!

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    • Anonymous says:

      As a lifelong England fan, I can say that the day after their defeat, the pain is gone. The team gave us a good run but falling before the final hurdle was not in the least unexpected.

      I wonder if your bitterness will fade as quickly? I doubt it somehow.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Down but not out…..so just how is Cayman football doing? Did you get to Russia, pray tell? Would you like some ketchup with that chip on your shoulder?

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      • JJ says:

        We certainly ain’t out their rioting and assaulting people and drunk and disorderly! hold Dat!

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        • Anonymous says:

          I know, you is too busy with the gangs, drugs, baby mommas, illegal bikes and cars, knife fights, rape, incest and child abuse. Can’t possibly have time for old fashion hooliganism.

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          • Ricki G says:

            When I want to read or see that type of bull$#@! 9:17pm all I have to do is go to Sky News right there in your Capital??? I will leave you with this Portugal Brazil Sweden Argentina Colombia Japan and other excellent teams went home yet their fans weren’t out rioting fighting on the streets.You have never learned to loose gracefully.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Oh dear, how short memories are…Argentine/Brazil fans kill players that they feel have let them down and diverting attention from Caymans home grown in house violence just demonstrates there is a problem and you are in denial.

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            • Anonymous says:

              You are right Ricki, all your hooligans stole the money and are under arrest/at trial or should be arrested at some point, unless shielded by others with much to lose. Do carry on pointing fingers though…

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          • Anonymous says:

            And you too busy with your acid attacks, terrorists, murderers, gangs, baby mommas, prostitution, rampant drug use and Brexit.

        • Jotnar says:

          Too busy celebrating our success in getting a Caymanian appointed to the senior ranks of FIFA?

          If you are going to chuck some abuse at a group of people based just on their nationality, probably shouldn’t be surprised when they retaliate in kind.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Bring our hero home!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Corrupt Peoples!

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Not my hero! Everyone who played football during the 1980’s & 90’s new he was a crook. It just took much longer than expected to come to light!

    Unfortunately the US will likely let him walk free and become another expense on our legal system, only to be slapped on the wrist like Cannover.

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  11. Stanley Rous says:

    Jeff Webb will never serve a day in jail or return to the Caymans. XXXXX

    If the new president of CIFA Alfred Whittaker and the board does not disclose or make public the FIFA sponsored forensic audit report done by Grant Thornton the question to be asked is why – is he now a part of the cover up? What else does CIFA have to hide and who else are they protecting? The auditors who did the CIFA audits for ten years have a lot to answer for. XXXX

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    • Anonymous says:

      Some current and former politicians and private sector big shots will be having many sleepless nights once the birds start singing to save their skin.

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    • Quite right Stanley. Accounts have not been made available for five years and three audit firms missed the fraud. All are licensed by the accounting society and CIMA. Do they really know what they are doing? It includes a top ten world wide firm.

      Did they ever visit the Newlands ground and clubhouse? I doubt it.

      Do they know costs of building?No, not when the costs were working out at CI $500 a square foot!

      Did they visit the CPA offices to see the estimated cost of CI$168,000 for a 1500 square foot building? Obviously not!

      Did they estimate the fill and blacktop car park, using a good QS.Doubt it.

      Did they look see where the huge amount of top soil went after CIFA dug it up and put in more fill and artificial grass? A lot of people know where it went but was it sold at market value? Suspect not.

      What have the club’s done? NOTHING. Same as the CIFA board.

      CIFA is an unmitigated disaster and until FIFA and the anti corruption boys get a grip nothing will happen. It would take a decent accounting firm to do this investigation armed with my file, a couple of months, not years to produce a report. Such a report could lead to several lawsuits and monies for CIFA. Until this happens the public at large with have no faith in the powers that be.

      This is another example where enforcement divisions of government are falling down and here I include from experience, the Land Registry, CPA, NRA, Port Authority, TCB and DOE. Reports are filed and nothing happens. Good luck to anyone else that tries.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Not sure how Webb could be considered a local ‘Football hero’ in his former years , I’d certainly never heard of him. Although..since the FIFA fiasco unravelling occurred , it was commented he used to like being referred to as ” Mr. President ” .

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    • #EYESWIDESHUT says:

      How easy some choose to forget. Mr. President was lauded by everyone in Cayman society including politicians and Corporate Cayman that produced many billable hours and millions in fees from representing Webb personally, CIFA and CONCACAF. The legal work was done in the Cayman Islands. Cayman attorneys were present in Switzerland when Webb was arrested but their names have never been in the local press. Maybe if they were local or native the narrative would be different.

      The current Premier, Speaker of the LA, Minister of Tourism and others directly benefitted and supported Webb’s vision for the sport aboard and locally. Remember the current Premier was Minister of Sports and spent millions on Webb’s recommendedation upgrading the district football fields. Webb took them all around the global and showed them a lifestyle they could only dream about including trips to world cups and games around the globe. Do you think Cayman Brac got that impressive sports field and facilities because Minister Moses Kirkonnell likes football? Hotels needed to be filled. Now ask yourself who owns the hotels and derived a direct financial benefit from the youth tournaments and pre-conditions for government sponsorship.

      Mr. President had many pigs in the troughs to feed which at the time guaranteed local hero status in political, commercial and corporate arenas of Cayman society.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Brilliant comment. Conflict of interest 101.

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      • Anonymous says:

        How true.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So? He was in a position of power and could dispense work to local firms. They had no reason to suppose there was corruption going on.

        • Stanley Rous says:

          This is FIFA, CIFA, CONCACAF and the organized crime family of football we’re talking about. The allegations have been known for decades how could anybody not know when dealing with the likes of Sepp Blatter, Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner, Jeff Webb, Burrell and the local CIFA crew of leeches. Sadly nothing has changed at any level of the sport especially with CIFA and local football. All supported by government and corporate cayman.
          The CIFA executive must show the public the audit reports if there is nothing to hide but we know the true picture can never be revealed as that opens up a rabbit hole with no end in sight.

          • Chris Johnson says:

            Stanley no proper audits have been done for about four years because the forensic investigation is still underway. I did an foi and have all audit reports. None are qualified so you will not learn anything. You need investigate the cost of the Newlands pitch and clubhouse, the grants paid directly to the contractors since 2003, and the dodgy loans. As I have said on more than one occasion there were more red flags than in British Navy. How the CIFA directors and auditors missed them is beyond belief.

        • Anonymous says:

          How much did you get out of the deals and being part of the machinery that facilitated corruption?

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