Warner sues TTFA for $15.7m
Port of Spain, Trinidad, July 31, 2019 (Trinidad and Tobago Guardian): Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has sued the T&T Football Association (TTFA) over almost $16 million in loans he claims he provided to the organisation while at its helm.
In the lawsuit, filed in the Port-of-Spain High Court on Monday, Warner is alleging the TTFA failed to repay the loans despite acknowledging them several times in the past.
According to his court filings, which were obtained by Guardian Media Sports, Warner claims he provided the loans, totalling $15,761,003, over 15 years. The money was allegedly used to cover the association’s expenses, including the successful 2006 World Cup qualification campaign.
Warner claimed the TTFA never disputed its debt to him, as it was reflected in its financial statements between 2007 and 2012. He included correspondence from former TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who wrote to him to acknowledge the debt and assured him it would be cleared after the association’s financial position improved.
While Warner claimed he attempted to get Tim Kee to commit to a payment plan in 2015, no assurances were given. However, the debt was eventually written off in the association’s 2015 financial statements, as it was claimed the debt was statute-barred and it had no obligation to pay.
“These accounts were published after the date of both letters from president Raymond Tim Kee, who had on two separate occasions acknowledged the debt to the claimant…At no time did the claimant inform the defendant that they were no longer under an obligation to repay the debt,” Warner’s documents stated.
Through the lawsuit, Warner is seeking repayment of the money advanced, plus interest calculated using a prime commercial lending rate.
In the event Warner eventually succeeds in his lawsuit it would put the association in an even more precarious financial position, as over the past few years it has been swamped by legal disputes from national players and former technical staff.
Warner is no stranger to the courts, as he is currently fighting his extradition to the United States to face charges arising out of a US Department of Justice investigation into corruption in FIFA.
Last month, US District Court Judge William Kuntz entered a default judgement against Warner in a US$20 million embezzlement case which CONCACAF brought against him and former executive Chuck Blazer. Kuntz’s decision was based on the fact that Warner had failed to register an appearance in the case through an attorney.
CONCACAF has also brought a US$37.8 million lawsuit against Warner, his wife, accountant and two companies over ownership of the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence in Macoya. In that case, CONCACAF is alleging that despite providing the funds for the project, the facility remained under one of Warner’s companies.
The case is still being heard by High Court Judge Robin Mohammed, who is currently mulling over an application to have Warner’s wife and the companies removed from the case before it goes to trial.
Warner is being represented by Rekha Ramjit and Alvin Pariagsingh.