Chuck Blazer

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Chuck Blazer
Born Charles Gordon Blazer[1][2]
(1945-04-26) April 26, 1945 (age 70)
New York City, United States
Residence New York City
Nationality American
Known for Soccer administrator

Charles "Chuck" Blazer (born April 26, 1945) is an American soccer administrator.

He was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee from 1996 to April 2013, when Sunil Gulati was elected to replace him.[3][4] Also, Blazer served as Commissioner of the American Soccer League and Executive Vice President of the United States Soccer Federation.[5] He was the General Secretary of CONCACAF from 1990 until 2011.[6]

In May of 2011, in response to allegations of bribery made by national representatives attending a 10 May meeting of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), Blazer initiated an investigation of AFC President Mohammed bin Hammam and FIFA Vice President Jack Warner. The investigation was conducted by John P.Collins, former United States federal prosecutor and FIFA Legal Committee member. Its submission led to FIFA's 29 May 2011 suspension of Warner and Bin Hammam from all soccer activities pending the outcome of FIFA's own investigation and procedures.[7][8][9] Acting CONCACAF president Lisle Austin attempted to fire Blazer five days later, but the action was blocked by the CONCACAF executive committee.[10][11] On 15 June 2011, Blazer was questioned by FIFA's ethics committee.[12]

On 14 August 2011, journalist Andrew Jennings noted in British newspaper The Independent that the FBI was examining documentary evidence revealing confidential football payments to offshore accounts operated by Chuck Blazer.[13]

On 19 April 2013 Blazer and Jack Warner were accused of massive fraud during their years as CONCACAF executives. A forensic audit by the organization's Integrity Committee determined that both men had functioned without a written contract from 1998 until their respective departures, and that Blazer had received 15 million dollars in commissions for his services during that time frame.[14] An anonymous government source expects that an ongoing FBI investigation into Blazer's finances will be expanded significantly and joined by the IRS.[15]

In May 2013, Blazer was suspended for 90 days.[16]

On 25 November 2013, Blazer waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a 10-count information charging him with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, income tax evasion and failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Blazer forfeited over $1.9 million at the time of his plea and has agreed to pay a second amount to be determined at the time of sentencing. [17]

On 1 November 2014, the New York Daily News reported that Blazer had been a confidential informant for the FBI and IRS, and was used to record key meetings between executives for FIFA and for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Blazer was compelled to inform for the FBI and IRS after they uncovered more than a decade of unpaid taxes on hidden, multi-million dollar incomes. It was also reported that Blazer is extremely ill with cancer of the colon.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charles Gordon Blazer". NBC Olympics. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Jennings, Andrew (2007). Foul! : the secret world of FIFA ; bribes, vote rigging and ticket scandals ([Updated ed.]. ed.). London: HarperSport. p. 138. ISBN 9780007208692. 
  3. ^ "President’s Column: April 2013". FIFA. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "U.S's Gulati elected to FIFA executive committee". REUTERS. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Profile". FIFA. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Chuck Blazer resigns CONCACAF post - ESPN / AP, 6 October 2011
  7. ^ Bahamian Whistle Blower Applauded, Repeating Islands, fr/ The Tribune, 31 May 2011, Allison Lowe
  8. ^ FIFA Suspends Warner, Bin Hammam, FIFA Press Release, 30 May 2011
  9. ^ Bin Hammam, Warner Investigation, India News, 26 May 2011
  10. ^ "Concacaf acting president Lisle Austin fires general secretary Chuck Blazer". Daily Telegraph. 31 May 2011. 
  11. ^ Associated Press, "CONCACAF stymies attempt to fire Blazer", Japan Times, 2 June 2011, p. 18.
  12. ^ "Fifa questions Blazer after letter of complaint". BBC Sport. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "FBI investigates secret payments to Fifa whistleblower". The Independent. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Audit Slays One Time Dynamic Duo," Andrew Warshaw, "Inside World Football," 19 April 2013
  15. ^ Jack Warner, Chuck Blazer face likely legal cases, FBI probe, SI.com (from Reuters), 22 April 2013
  16. ^ "Fifa's Chuck Blazer suspended over 'fraudulent' claims". BBC Sport. 6 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption". justice.gov. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  18. ^ [1]

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