— -- Federal prosecutors took down top officials of international soccer with the help of a ticket scalper whose previously secret plea deal has now been made public. The scalper, as it happens, is the son of Jack Warner, who was a FIFA vice president and one of nine soccer executives accused of corruption.
Daryan Warner took his place in a closed courtroom in Brooklyn October 18, 2013, and admitted he obtained tickets for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups under false pretenses and resold them at a substantial markup, illegally earning at least $1.2 million.
Basic details of the ticket scheme were included in last week’s announcement of criminal charges. ABC News has obtained transcripts of Warner’s plea hearing that had been sealed.
Despite the sealed documents and the locked courtroom, the matter was so sensitive, the transcripts show, that Judge William Kuntz insisted on referring to Daryan Warner as “John Doe.”
The transcripts also show Warner began cooperating with the FIFA corruption probe in November 2012 and subsequently met with investigators 11 times. The nature of Warner’s cooperation has not been disclosed but the transcripts make clear Warner was well aware of the breadth of the investigation that was already underway.
“It’s anticipated that sentencing in this case may be delayed for a significant period,” Warner’s defense attorney Benjamin Brafman told the court. “I think if Probation [Department] were to begin now it would be very premature and almost impossible, given the nature of the investigation.”
Warner was required to describe his crimes during the plea hearing but his Trinidadian accent and nerves appeared to befuddle the judge who told Warner, “Take your time. Take a drink of water. Slowly and loudly. Channel your inner Lord Vader, not your inner Woody Allen, OK?”
Warner then admitted he misled FIFA about the nature of his ticket reselling. He pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Federal prosecutors are still declining to release other documents related to the FIFA case.