FIFA Money Laundering Investigations ‘Unsurprising’

Regulatory Lawyer Reacts To Latest Reports On Scandal


The announcement that prosecutors in Switzerland are investigating 53 cases of possible money laundering as part of their investigations into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups is not a surprising step, according to specialist regulatory lawyers.
The Swiss investigation, which run parallel to those undertaken in the US, is believed to be analysing a range of data from the footballing organisation as part of its investigations into the process for Russia and Qatar being awarded the tournaments.
It has been confirmed that the incidents of money laundering have been reported by Swiss banks. Attorney General Michael Lauber added that the investigations are complex and are also likely to take a long time.
According to Irwin Mitchell’s Regulatory and Criminal Investigations team, the news of the money laundering investigations will not be a shock considering the nature of the information shared publicly so far.

Expert Opinion
"News of the money laundering investigations is hardly surprising, considering such offences involve the acquisition, use and transfer of property obtained through criminal conduct.

"If financial bribes or rewards have been paid to individuals connected to FIFA then the movement or use of that money by the recipient or others, knowing or suspecting that it is criminal property, could be money laundering.

"A key issue in terms of criminal liability for money laundering in the UK is whether individuals or corporates who benefited directly or indirectly from any financial rewards or business obtained through rewards knew or suspected it was obtained through criminal conduct.

"Any individual or organisation who secured any FIFA-related business where there is a risk that the business might directly or indirectly be linked to the payment of financial rewards should investigate the basis upon which the business was obtained straight away."
Sarah Wallace, Partner