Bank Hapoalim has confirmed that it is being investigated by the US authorities for alleged involvement in the affair in which senior executives of FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, are being charged with corruption. Some of those accused allegedly managed accounts with the Israeli bank.
A U.S. investigation has indicted at least 14 people, including former FIFA officials, on charges of money laundering and racketeering, and Hapoalim said the probe was looking into accounts held by some of the suspects with the bank.
Bank Hapoalim said in a statement, “Within the framework of cooperation by the bank with the investigation in this matter, it has come to the bank’s attention that the American authorities are investigating the involvement of various banks, among them, the Bank Hapoalim Group.”
14 FIFA senior executives and employees arrested in Zurich four months ago on bribery allegations, money laundering, bribery and extortion over a 20-year period. It is believed that more than $100 million changed hands.
According to the US Justice Department indictment, those arrested also gave bribes in exchange for granting TV rights, and marketing and sponsorship deals for the World Cup soccer tournament finals including in the US in 1994. The money was channeled through banks in the US.