It was a slight shift in the currency exchange rate from one day to the next that made Daryan Warner stick out when he tried to deposit a large sum of cash, newly unsealed court documents say.
The son of the powerful Trinidad soccer official Jack Warner, Daryan was in New York, depositing cash in chunks of several thousand euros.
The first time, he brought €7,000, which converted into $9,267.30 (U.S.), under the $10,000 limit where the transactions would have to be flagged to the Treasury Department.
So he was able to make his deposit at a Chase Bank outlet in the borough of Queens.
The next day, he went to another Chase branch, in Manhattan, and tried to deposit €7,500. At that day's rate, it came out $3.50 over the $10,000-mark. The teller said a report had to be filled and asked Daryan for his driver's license.
It was the second week of July 2011.
Just the previous month, Daryan's father had stepped down from his influential positions as an executive of the FIFA and CONCACAF soccer bodies following claims that he helped a Qatari associate hand out cash envelopes to delegates.
The allegations against the Warners are detailed in recently released court documents, part of the massive case the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice have built against top world soccer officials.
The charges against the Warner family are particularly noteworthy because the court documents provide detailed, specific allegations and the fact that Daryan and his brother Daryll secretly pleaded guilty two years ago – suggesting that the brothers are now government witnesses.The case against the elder Mr. Warner is also bolstered by the guilty plea of his former right-hand man, Charles Blazer.
Their guilty pleas were kept confidential until this week. Court filings were kept sealed and they appeared in court, the docket listed them as "John Doe."
According to the indictment against the 72-year-old Mr. Warner, starting in the 1980s, he solicited and accepted bribes as he rose from secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation, to president of the CONCACAF, (the confederation responsible for soccer federations in North, Central American and Caribbean), to the executive committee of FIFA, soccer's world body.
Mr. Warner's executive role ended in 2011, the documents allege, after he facilitated the payment of bribes doled out by Asian Football Confederation president Mohammed bin Hammam of Qatar, who was running for the FIFA presidency.
The indictment says Mr. bin Hammam wired $364,000 to an account controlled by Mr. Warner, who then invited Caribbean Football Union representatives to a meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Trinidad and Tobago.
Following the meeting, the delegates were told they could pick up a "gift" in a conference room that afternoon. They had to enter the room one at a time and were each handed an envelope with $40,000 inside. The payments became public however and Mr. Warner had to resign.
Nevertheless, the next month, his eldest son, Daryan was busy handling large amounts of cash, according to an Internal Revenue Service affidavit unsealed this week.
On Tuesday July 12, Daryan had flown to New York from Trinidad, with a stopover in Miami.
On Wednesday, he deposited deposited €7,000 in Queens. The next morning, he tried €7,500 in Manhattan. With the previous day's exchange rate, it would have converted to $9,929. Instead it was $10,003.50.
Daryan declined to provide identification papers and asked the teller to return €500. The deposit was now $9,336.60 and no forms were filled.
However, the teller remembered the unusual situation and described it later when interviewed by an IRS special agent, court affidavits say.
The investigators tracked down how, between July and December of 2011, as they jetted between destinations such as Aruba, Las Vegas and London, Daryan and Daryll repeatedly deposited U.S. dollars, Euros, Russian rubles and British pounds, breaking down their transactions in smaller payments to avoid detection, court documents say.
The documents allege that Daryan obtained tickets to the 2006 World Cup under false pretenses and got a Florida broker to resell them to tour operators at a substantial markup.
A separate court complaint alleges that Daryll made a fraudulent mortgage application when he bought a seaside condo in Miami's upscale Brickell district. He had stated that the down payment came from his own bank accounts. However, the complaint said, part of the payment was made with a cashier's cheque drawn from a bank in Trinidad, with the remitter (the entity that paid the money) listed as "CONCACAF Centre of Excellence."
The CONCACAF Centre of Excellence is a soccer academy in Trinidad funded by the confederation and by FIFA.
Mr. Warner's sons are also involved in one of the more gaudy episodes outlined in the court documents.
According to court allegations, Mr. Warner accepted bribes in connection with the selection of the host nation for the World Cups of 1998 and 2010.
The indictment against Mr. Blazer says that he and Mr. Warner accepted a bribe from the Moroccan bid committee for the 1998 World Cup which ultimately went to France.
Mr. Warner then received bribes from South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, the documents allege.
The indictment against him says he sent one of his sons to a Paris hotel room to meet with a South African official who gave him "a briefcase containing bundles of U.S. currency in $10,000 stacks."
Daryll, 40, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and structuring financial transactions to evade legal scrutiny.
Daryan, 46, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and structuring financial transactions. He also agreed to forfeit more than $1.1-million.
Their father, meanwhile, was taken into custody in Trinidad, then released on bail.
At a rally, he made a defiant speech to supporters, the Associated Press reported. "If I have been thiefing FIFA money for 30 years, who give me the money? How come he is not charged? Why only persons from Third World countries have been charged?" he said.