Ex-FIFA official asks to live at home with pool tied to alleged bribe

Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:30pm EDT
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By David Ingram

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former high-ranking soccer official charged with soliciting bribes, including $500,000 that allegedly went to build a swimming pool at his house, wants to stay in that house near Atlanta while he awaits trial, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Jeffrey Webb, a former vice president at soccer's world governing body FIFA, is charged with using his position to solicit bribes from sports marketing companies. A Cayman Islands national, he was released in July on a $10 million bond and has since been restricted to living within 20 miles (32.187 kilometers) of the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.

The costs associated with staying around New York "are now posing extraordinary financial and logistical burdens on Mr. Webb and his immediate family," his lawyer, Edward O'Callaghan, wrote in the letter to U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie.

The burdens would be less at Webb's house in Loganville, Georgia, where Webb could also care more easily for his 1-year-old son, the lawyer wrote. Webb would continue to comply with electronic monitoring and have a security detail, as he does now, the lawyer wrote.

The Loganville house figured in the indictment disclosed in May of Webb and 13 other former soccer officials and businessmen. A $500,000 bribe payment allegedly went to build a swimming pool there, according to the indictment.

Dearie has not ruled on the request from Webb's lawyer, according to court records. Prosecutors are not opposing it, according to the letter. A spokeswoman for prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Webb and six other soccer officials were arrested on May 27 in Zurich as they prepared to attend a FIFA congress. He later waived objections to being extradited to the United States.

His bond was secured by 10 properties, three cars, a case of jewelry and watches belonging to Webb and his wife, and financial assets including a 401(k) retirement account.   Continued...

Former FIFA official Jeffrey Webb exits following his hearing at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn borough of New York August 14, 2015.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid