Soccer News: FIFA Officials & Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy & Corruption
Often people imagine that alleged corruption is happening across the Atlantic. Fans trust their club is not being shorthanded by the executives that run the billion dollar business. After FIFA announced the indictment of 13 defendants, NASL has announced the suspension of Aaron Davidson, President of Traffic Sports Inc., the owner of the Carolina RailHawks.
RELATED ARTICLE: FIFA OFFICIALS INDICTED FOR CORRUPTION
The indictment alleges that, between 1991 and the present, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the enterprise by engaging in various criminal activities, including fraud, bribery and money laundering. Two generations of soccer officials abused their positions of trust for personal gain, frequently through an alliance with unscrupulous sports marketing executives who shut out competitors and kept highly lucrative contracts for themselves through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks. All told, the soccer officials are charged with conspiring to solicit and receive well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for their official support of the sports marketing executives who agreed to make the unlawful payments.
In light of the ongoing investigation announced by the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday, the North American Soccer League‘s Board of Governors has suspended Chairperson Aaron Davidson, along with all business activities between the league and Traffic Sports, effective immediately. Commissioner Bill Peterson will serve as acting Chairperson.
The Carolina RailHawks, the sole NASL club owned by Traffic Sports, will continue to operate in the ordinary course of business. The club’s management team will continue to manage the day-to-day operations.
On May 14, 2015, Traffic Sports USA Inc. and Traffic Sports International Inc. pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.
There has been no public allegation that NASL or the RailHawks were involved in wrongdoing, but they may be affected by the ongoing criminal actions against their leadership.
Photo Credit: J. Mike Blake / News & Observer