FIFA corruption investigation may lead to more indictments - attorney general

ZURICH -- FIFA and embattled president Sepp Blatter faced more pressure on Monday as U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch predicted a new round of indictments in a widening investigation of corruption in global football.

Lynch says "we do anticipate being able to bring additional charges against individuals and entities."

In May, Lynch's department indicted 14 football and marketing officials and unsealed six guilty pleas in a $150 million bribery and racketeering conspiracy.

Lynch did not comment Monday on whether Blatter is targeted in her case, or if he faced arrest by traveling to a country which has an extradition treaty with the United States.

Lynch said: "In May of this year, the Department of Justice announced charges against 14 individuals on allegations of bribery and corruption within the inner workings of the world's most popular sport.

"In the four months since then, our work and the investigation has continued. Thirteen of the 14 defendants charged have been arrested by either U.S. or foreign authorities.

"Three defendants are currently in the United States and have been arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn, where the cases against them are proceeding.

"Ten others are currently pending extradition here in Switzerland and in three other countries. I want to thank the Swiss government for its assistance in the extradition process; our teams are coordinating not just on that front, but on our complementary investigations as well.

"To ensure that all these defendants -- who are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty -- are treated fairly and impartially, both while pending extradition abroad and awaiting trial in the United States, I cannot comment more specifically on these individuals.

"What I can say is that, separate and apart from the pending indictment, our investigation remains active and ongoing, and has in fact expanded since May.

"As I made clear at our initial announcement, the scope of our investigation is not limited, and we are following the evidence where it leads.

"I am grateful for the significant cooperation and substantial evidence that we have received from all quarters. Based upon that cooperation and new evidence, we anticipate pursuing additional charges against individuals and entities."

Lynch spoke alongside her Swiss counterpart, Michael Lauber, whose separate investigation of money laundering appears equally threatening to FIFA and its soon-departing president.

Swiss federal agencies have seized properties in the Swiss Alps and seized evidence during house searches in western Switzerland, Lauber said.

"Investment in real estate can be used for the purpose of money laundering," said Lauber, whose case seems to be widening beyond its original focus of FIFA's criminal complaint about the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests.

A total of 121 different bank accounts have been reported as suspicious by a Swiss financial intelligence unit to Lauber's team of prosecutors, he said.

The two federal prosecutors shared a stage almost four months after the scale of their investigations was made public.

The Swiss case could spread beyond the World Cup bids won by Russia and Qatar, respectively, as prosecutors sift through massive amounts of data and documents seized from FIFA in May and June. Much of FIFA's contracts and finances during Blatter's 17-year presidency now seem open to investigation.

Earlier, former FIFA anti-corruption adviser Mark Pieth said Blatter should face a criminal investigation for selling undervalued World Cup television rights to disgraced former official Jack Warner.

Lauber confirmed that an investigation is taking place into the sale of those rights.

"We have a lot of facts at the moment out of house searches and out of the documents we received," said Lauber.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.