When Chuck Blazer answered the phone at his Trump Tower apartment, his pet macaw Max could often be heard squawking in the background.
Blazer led a lavish lifestyle, which includes two flats in Trump Towers — one for him and his partner and one, reportedly, for his cats.
US tax authorities found Blazer had not paid tax in 18 years, aided by the fact all the money he garnered was paid into offshore accounts.
The former Fifa executive committee member and US soccer power broker has been out of sight for over two years, but he is suddenly making a lot of noise.
When indictments were unsealed on Wednesday charging nine soccer officials and five other men with racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud related to bribes and kickbacks stretching back more than two decades, the US revealed Blazer pleaded guilty a year ago. Prosecutors also announced two sons of former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner pleaded guilty.
Information from the three men appears to have been central to the justice department’s corruption investigation, linking other soccer officials in the Americas to a series of schemes. Much of the money passed through US banks, giving federal officials the power to go after offenders from around the world.
“All of these defendants abused the US financial system and violated US law,” said attorney general Loretta Lynch.
The longtime number two official in soccer’s North and Central American and Caribbean region, Blazer
pleaded guilty on November 25, 2013, to six counts of income tax evasion and one count each of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and willful failure to file a report of foreign bank and financial accounts.
Prosecutors said Blazer received $750,000 from the $10m Warner got as a bribe after the pair voted for South Africa to become the 2010 World Cup host.
Blazer reportedly started co-operating with the US government in 2011.
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