U.S. authorities investigating corruption in world soccer have gained the cooperation of a Swiss banker, according to people familiar with the matter, leading their probe closer to financial institutions that prosecutors have said were used to move bribe money.
Bloomberg News reports that helping prosecutors is Jorge Arzuaga, a former private banker to a sports marketing executive who admitted to bribing soccer officials, five people familiar with the matter said.
Although the U.S. has already received assistance from soccer officials and sports marketers caught up in the scandal, Arzuaga is the first banker to emerge as a cooperator in the investigation into a decades-long scheme of bribery and kickbacks to influence the awarding of media and marketing rights to tournaments in the Americas.
Arzuaga worked for Julius Baer and Credit Suisse. His clients included Alejandro Burzaco, a onetime Citigroup employee who later became one of the most powerful sports marketing executives in South America, according to the people. Burzaco pleaded guilty to money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud conspiracies, admitting he used several banks over almost a decade to launder bribes to soccer officials.
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