U.S. expects more indictments in soccer probe as Swiss freeze assets

Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:07pm EDT
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By Joshua Franklin and Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have expanded their investigations into corruption in global soccer and expect to file additional criminal charges, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Monday, deepening the crisis surrounding the sport's governing body.

As part of a separate Swiss investigation, Switzerland's chief prosecutor said his office had seized property and flats in the Swiss Alps in connection with its probe into corruption inside Zurich-based FIFA.

The developments are the latest in the worst crisis in FIFA's 111-year history, which erupted with the arrest of seven senior soccer officials and sports marketing executives over corruption accusations in Zurich in May.

"What I can say is that, separate and apart from the pending indictment, our investigation remains active and ongoing, and has in fact expanded since May," Lynch said at a news conference in Zurich alongside Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.

"Based upon that cooperation (with Swiss authorities) and new evidence, we do anticipate pursuing additional charges against individuals and entities," Lynch said.

She added that the global response to the FIFA scandal had sent a clear message: "You are on the wrong side of progress and do a disservice to the integrity of this wonderful sport."

Lauber said the Swiss investigation had not yet reached the half-way mark and his office had continued to build up its mountain of seized data.

Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has so far gathered around 11 terabytes of electronic data -- up from nine in the OAG's June update -- and 121 different bank accounts have been flagged for suspicious activity.   Continued...

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber arrives with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (R) for a news conference on Swiss criminal proceedings regarding the allocation of the FIFA World Cup tournaments in 2018 and 2022 at the Conference of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) in Zurich, Switzerland September 14, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich