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Jun 23, 2015

Exclusive: Swiss authorities probing FIFA say Garcia report of little help – source

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Swiss authorities investigating whether there was corruption in the awarding of World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar are finding that a report produced by U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia at the end of an internal FIFA inquiry is of little value to their probe, according to a source close to investigations into the soccer governing body.

    Swiss officials question whether Garcia’s report, which has not been made public, has significant evidentiary value, said the source, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity. That is because Garcia, who was hired by FIFA, had no subpoena power, did not take sworn testimony, and was operating under FIFA’s own ethical rules, which had little enforcement power behind them, the source added.

Jun 23, 2015

Swiss authorities probing FIFA say Garcia report of little help-source

LONDON/NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) – Swiss authorities investigating whether there was corruption in the awarding of World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar are finding that a report produced by U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia at the end of an internal FIFA inquiry is of little value to their probe, according to a source close to investigations into the soccer governing body.

Swiss officials question whether Garcia’s report, which has not been made public, has significant evidentiary value, said the source, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity. That is because Garcia, who was hired by FIFA, had no subpoena power, did not take sworn testimony, and was operating under FIFA’s own ethical rules, which had little enforcement power behind them, the source added.

Jun 23, 2015

Qatar group to push sports integrity in US even as World Cup award faces probes

NEW YORK/LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) – FIFA’s granting of rights to Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022 is a focus of U.S. and Swiss probes into alleged corruption at soccer’s governing body, but that isn’t stopping a group financed by the tiny nation from coming to Washington this week to talk about cleaning up sports.

The Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), which is largely funded by the Qatari government, will talk about its efforts to boost transparency in bidding processes for major sporting events and combat financial malpractice in professional sport at an event it is holding at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Jun 22, 2015

World anti-money laundering body deletes FIFA-related warning

London (Reuters) – A world anti-money laundering body has deleted all trace of an alert it issued last week warning that financial institutions had not done enough to police suspicious financial activity by officials at FIFA, soccer’s global governing body.

The alert, on the website of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, was originally posted on June 16, almost three weeks after U.S. authorities indicted nine current and former FIFA officials and five business executives on a series of corruption charges, including bribery, money laundering and wire fraud.

Jun 22, 2015

Banks did not do enough to police FIFA transactions, says global agency

LOUIS (Reuters) – A global group of government
anti-money-laundering agencies said that financial institutions
have not done enough to police suspicious financial activity by
officials at soccer’s global governing body FIFA, and cautioned
banks to step up scrutiny.

The warning from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force
came in the wake of last month’s indictment by the United States
of nine current and former FIFA officials and five business
executives on a series of corruption charges, including bribery,
money laundering and wire fraud.

Jun 21, 2015

Exclusive: Banks did not do enough to police FIFA transactions, says global agency

LONDON (Reuters) – A global group of government anti-money-laundering agencies said that financial institutions have not done enough to police suspicious financial activity by officials at soccer’s global governing body FIFA, and cautioned banks to step up scrutiny.

The warning from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force came in the wake of last month’s indictment by the U.S. of nine current and former FIFA officials and five business executives on a series of corruption charges, including bribery, money laundering and wire fraud.

Jun 17, 2015

Blatter hires counsel as Swiss FIFA probe eyes bank transactions

BERNE, June 17 (Reuters) – Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s embattled president, has hired a high-powered U.S. lawyer to represent him, a source said on Wednesday as a corruption probe engulfs soccer’s global governing body with Swiss authorities identifying suspicious bank transactions.

Blatter retained Richard Cullen, the chairman of the law firm McGuireWoods and a former U.S. federal prosecutor, said the person familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

Jun 17, 2015

Swiss FIFA inquiry investigates 53 suspicious bank transactions

BERNE (Reuters) – Swiss prosecutors investigating corruption at global soccer body FIFA have identified 53 suspicious bank transactions, the attorney general said on Wednesday, stressing that a complex investigation may take a long time to unfold.

Michael Lauber told journalists he would not rule out interviewing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and General Secretary Jerome Valcke, although Switzerland had so far targetted no individuals in the scandal that has rocked international soccer.

Jun 17, 2015

Swiss prosecutor says seized nine terabytes of FIFA evidence

BERNE (Reuters) – Switzerland’s attorney general said on Wednesday his office had seized around nine terabytes of data as part of a sweeping investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption at world soccer’s governing body FIFA.

Michael Lauber told journalists he would not rule out interviewing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and General Secretary Jerome Valcke, though no individuals were being targeted at the moment.

Jun 8, 2015

Obama vows to boost U.S. cyber defenses amid signs of China hacking

KRUEN, Germany/WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) – President
Barack Obama vowed on Monday that the United States would
aggressively bolster its cyber defenses, as U.S. officials said
the probe into a massive breach of federal government networks
has yielded growing signs of a direct Chinese role.

Obama stopped short of pointing the finger at Beijing for
the recent cyber attack, which threatens to overshadow broader
annual U.S.-China talks in Washington this month at a time when
tensions are already high over Beijing’s pursuit of territorial
claims in the South China Sea.