Blake points finger at Watson and Webb over CONCACAF fraud

| 09/08/2022

(CNS): Bruce Blake told investigators after he was arrested for money laundering in 2017 that he knew nothing about any dishonesty in relation to the alleged theft from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) of $1.5 million by his colleague, Canover Watson. In interviews, Blake, a former Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) and CONCACAF official, said he didn’t help hide or transfer the proceeds of any crime and pointed the finger at both Watson and Jeff Webb, who was CONCACAF’s president at the time.

As Eloise Marshall QC wrapped up her opening statement for the jury in the long-awaited trial over alleged fraud in 2013, she detailed how Blake had spoken with the investigators on several occasions, answering their questions and denying any culpability. Blake had suggested any money that had gone through bank accounts connected to a company he owned were mistakes and that he knew nothing about the crimes the anti-corruption officers were asking him about.

However, the prosecutor said that Blake was caught in a number of lies and was unable to explain how money had passed through his bank accounts or what he did and didn’t know about Watson’s Panamanian companies and the false loans that were made to CIFA by these companies.

Marshall told the jury that when Watson was arrested after police had searched his home and seized several electronic devices, he was shown all of the documents that they had found, which proved the case against him, and was given a chance to explain them. But she said he chose not to answer the investigators’ questions.

Instead, Watson offered a prepared statement, in which he denied any wrongdoing and stated that he would be remaining silent because he did not trust the investigators or the integrity of their investigation and believed they were biased against him.

As she concluded the explanation of the crown’s case, Marshall said that, in short, it was all about the fact that Watson had stolen over $1.5 million from CONCACAF through false invoices for equipment that he claimed was destined to support grassroots football across the region. With the help of Bruce Blake, he then used false documents, shell companies and CIFA accounts here in Cayman to move that money so both men could spend it.

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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