Investigation Charges FIFA Officials ‘Enriched Themselves’ with Million-Dollar Pay Raises

The investigation into corruption at the top of FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, alleges that officials entered into a “coordinated effort to enrich themselves through annual salary increases” to the tune of upwards to $80 million over the last five years they held their positions.

FIFA attorneys said on Friday that former top officials Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke, and Markus Kattner voted themselves massive pay raises and World Cup bonuses. The payments, they say, appear to have broken Swiss law.

The lawyers said they would turn their findings over to Swiss authorities who are also investigating FIFA for corruption.

“The evidence appears to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totaling more than 79 million Swiss francs — in just the last five years,” FIFA attorney Bill Burck said in a statement on the organization’s website.

The statement also noted the investigation found “evidence of breaches of fiduciary duty” by FIFA and also cast suspicion on the organization’s Compensation Sub-Committee.

The three top men now under investigation raked in a princely sum.

Top man Blatter got a 12 million Swiss Franc bump over his normal 3 million annual salary and was on the verge of awarding himself another 12 million until the spotlight got too warm. The Swiss Franc is currently about a one-to-one parity with the U.S. dollar.

As to the others, Valcke awarded himself an additional $10 million to add to his $2 million base salary and was about to rake in another $11 million until he was booted out, while Kattner, who was fired for financial wrongdoing only last month, received about $9 million.

In its statement FIFA pledged to continue its internal investigation and promised to share its results with outside investigators who have been carrying out their own corruption investigations.

U.S. officials have also opened an investigation into FIFA corruption and are looking into whether Blatter knew about the $100 million in bribes allegedly given to FIFA officials.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com


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