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5 Financial Corruption Scandals In Pro Sports

By Daniel Friedman
» More Columns

On Wednesday morning, the FBI dropped the hammer on FIFA for an assortment of suspicious business practices, arresting several officials.

Corruption and fraud scandals are nothing new in the world of sports, unfortunately. Have a look for yourself:

1. Alan Eagleson (1994)

A Canadian attorney who not only was one of the most prominent NHL player agents of his era, but also the executive director of the NHLPA (NHL Players' Association), he was using his clients' money for personal interests, among other things. In 1994, the FBI charged him with 34 counts of racketeering, fraud, embezzlement and obstruction of justice. He would eventually plead guilty to similar charges in Toronto, and was subsequently removed from the Hockey Hall of Fame following his conviction and sentencing.

2. John Spano (1997)

The New York Islanders were in desperate need of new ownership, and John Spano appeared to be the answer to their prayers. The only problem was he wasn't remotely worth what he claimed. Spano was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and forgery. He's been found guilty of fraud multiple times since his initial release from prison in 2004.

3. IOC Olympic Bidding Scandal (2002)

Salt Lake City had previously been denied the Games, but finally broke through in 2002. The International Olympic Committee was accused of accepting bribes from the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and many IOC members were expelled as a result. Despite being acquitted of those charges, investigations into prior Olympic bids for the 1998 and 2000 Games found that IOC members did in fact receive bribes during those processes.

4. Vincent Porter (2015)

Sports agent Vincent Porter, who had several NFL clients, was charged with fraud -- as was his partner-in-crime, New York-based financial advisor Joseph Vaccaro. They were both accused in a plot to lure their clients and investors into a massive financial scheme.

5. FIFA Officials Scandal (2015)

On Wednesday, several FIFA officials were arrested after an FBI investigation of the organization's suspicious activities provided enough ammo to charge them with racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering. Officials have been accused of accepting bribes for World Cup hosting and broadcasting bids, among other things.

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