Israel's Bank Hapoalim says cooperating with U.S. FIFA corruption probe

Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:55am EDT
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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's Bank Hapoalim said it is cooperating with a probe by U.S. authorities into alleged corruption involving officials from world soccer's governing body, FIFA.

A U.S. investigation has indicted at least 14 people, including former FIFA officials, on charges of money laundering and racketeering, and Hapoalim said the probe was looking into accounts held by some of the suspects with the bank.

"Within the framework of cooperation by the bank with the investigation in this matter, it has come to the bank's attention that the American authorities are investigating the involvement of various banks, among them, the Bank Hapoalim Group," it said in a statement.

In addition to the U.S. probe, Swiss authorities are looking into cases related to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

FIFA's independent ethics committee is probing "many" cases of suspected corruption and expects to issue life bans for all but minor offences, a source familiar with the matter has said.

(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

A woman uses an automated teller machine (ATM) outside a Bank Hapoalim branch in Tel Aviv May 30, 2013.  REUTERS/Nir Elias