Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Monday, 29 July 2019

Fifa bans ex-Sierra Leone FA official over bribery

The football governing body Fifa has found Abu Bakkar Kabba, a former official of Sierra Leone’s football association, guilty of accepting bribes linked to match-fixing and has banned him for five years.

Fifa said on 26 July that Kabba had breached article 11 of its code of ethics by receiving the bribes and fined him 50,000 Swiss francs (US$50,430). Kabba’s ban, which covers all football-related activities at national and international level, came into force on the same day.

Swiss authorities have been investigating Fifa’s decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively since 2015. Michael Lauber, Switzerland’s attorney general, was barred from the probe in June amid an investigation into alleged inappropriate meetings with Gianni Infantino.

Lawyers for ex-KPMG executive ask court for zero jail time

Lawyers representing former KPMG executive David Middendorf have asked a Manhattan federal court to spare their client jail time over a scheme to use information illegally obtained from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees audits of US companies, to achieve better results on upcoming assessments.

Middendorf’s lawyers at Petrillo Klein & Boxer in New York have also requested that the court not impose a financial penalty. 

In March, a jury in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York found Middendorf guilty of wire fraud charges in connection with the scheme.

KPMG received a $50 million fine from the US Securities and Exchange Commission in June over the matter and remains under investigation.

Swiss prosecutors split investigation into Germany’s World Cup bid

Switzerland’s federal public prosecutor’s office is separating a probe into Franz Beckenbauer, the former president of the German Football Association (DFB), from its overall investigation into corruption in Germany’s successful 2006 Fifa World Cup bid, according to reports.

Investigators did not explain the reasons for the decision, though Beckenbauer has been known to be in poor health.

Beckenbauer oversaw Germany’s 2006 World Cup bid, and  later became a member of Fifa’s executive committee.

Prosecutors are investigating a €6.7 million payment from the DFB that was declared as financing for a gala that never took place.

Prosecutors are reportedly still investigating four other individuals as part of their investigation.

German court rules against VW in unfair dismissal case

A labour court in Germany declared German car manufacturer Volkswagen’s termination of an employee’s contract for misconduct in relation to the diesel emissions scandal was illegal, according to local press reports.

Volkswagen had terminated six employees’ contracts in August 2018 for violating their duties to report misconduct to senior management. The judgment noted that the individuals continued to be employed by the company three years after its senior management became aware of the misconduct.

Separately, the president of Stuttgart’s district court has requested more resources to help it deal with an overload of cases related to German car manufacturer Daimler. Handelsblatt reported that 1,100 cases against Daimler in relation to the emissions scandal were filed with the court in the first half of 2019.

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