Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by ADIC Diego G. Rodriguez
The most recent wave of charges announced today is but one more step forward in our effort to level the playing field of soccer.
Last May, several high-ranking officials and corporate executives affiliated with FIFA were indicted for their roles in a decades-long scheme to corrupt the sport through bribes, kickbacks, and other criminal activity. This activity was aimed at controlling lucrative marketing rights to international tournaments such as the World Cup.
Today, we charge 16 more defendants, in addition to filing superseding charges on 11 others, in a 92-count indictment detailing the alleged ongoing criminal activity of FIFA officials and associates.
Some of the illegal activity charged today was discovered throughout our investigation and predates the original charges. But we’ve found evidence of newly alleged criminal activity more recently carried about by those whose greedy impulses won out over common sense.
Today we remind everyone that no one is beyond the reach of the law. And even though soccer is a game to many, it’s merely a business enterprise to those profiting from the athletes and fans.
When criminals bring their corrupt activity to our shores by using U.S. banks and U.S. companies to pay bribes and otherwise further their criminal objectives, they will play by our rules.
Along with our partners, we uphold our promise to root out corruption in all its many forms.
I want to commend the investigators and prosecutors from the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and the FBI who have pursued this case for so many years.
We’ve made great strides, and I’m confident we will continue moving in the right direction.