How the FIFA bust might just work

 In Explainer, News

For those who don’t know much about football – or soccer, if you must – the Justice Department yesterday indicted nine senior officials of FIFA, which organizes the World Cup. Seven of them were arrested in Switzerland on charges of corruption including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. How does the Justice Department have jurisdiction over an international body like FIFA? And how can it hope to make any of these charges stick? Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern has the answer, in this great explainer.

It turns out Justice isn’t after FIFA at all – FIFA, in fact, is being portrayed as the victim, and its corrupt overseers are the racketeers. Racketeers? That’s right – Justice is going after FIFA’s leaders under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. And it has jurisdiction because much of the dirty money flowed through banks based in Manhattan. Read Mark’s piece for the full layout.

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