Allegations of fraud, bribery and money laundering in indictments against 14 individuals associated with soccer's world governing body FIFA unsealed last week would have come as no surprise to attendees of OffshoreAlert's annual conference in Miami Beach ... way back in 2010.
In a session entitled 'Corruption in Soccer - The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-Rigging and Ticket Scandals', investigative journalist Andrew Jennings talked at length about the scams that, years later, would form the basis of the indictments. Indeed, five of the 14 individual defendants were featured prominently in Andrew's presentation five years ago, namely Chuck Blazer, Nicolas Leoz, Jack Warner, and his sons Daryan and Daryll.
FIFA was so concerned about the session and the potential impact on its operations that it instructed London-based solicitors Harris Cartier to send us a warning letter prior to the event, the gist of which was that Andrew was a loose cannon embarking on "an unjustified and malicious campaign against our client" and that OffshoreAlert might be sued for defamation if the session proceeded as advertised.
I told FIFA to 'get lost', the session went ahead without any censorship, and FIFA is now in a spectacular crisis that will only get worse and could easily end with its liquidation. Harris Cartier law firm going bust in 2013 with an estimated net deficiency of £2.9 million was an unexpected bonus.
All the sponsors, bankers, politicians and others who provided money, services and support to FIFA since our session in 2010 cannot plausibly claim they didn't know what was going on. FIFA's corruption was an open secret and it should have been obvious to anyone with eyes and ears that its senior personnel were riff-raff.
Special contempt goes to the entire nation of Trinidad & Tobago, whose residents collectively sat back and allowed then-FIFA VP Jack Warner - an extreme example of human filth - to swindle its national soccer team out of more than US$10 million they were due for participating in the 2006 World Cup. That's how Trinidad rewards its heroes.
Warner reminds me of Cayman's on-again, off-again government leader McKeeva Bush. Everyone knows he's corrupt, yet local voters continue to elect him to parliament, his party colleagues continue to appoint him to high office, and banks continue to provide accounts for him to launder his corrupt proceeds.
And, as with Warner and other FIFA insiders, unless the US does something, Bush will never be held accountable for his actions. That's the world we live in.