He didn’t get arrested today, but that’s only because Chuck Blazer had already plead guilty to a bunch of charges and has been helping the feds since 2013. According to a Department of Justice press release, Blazer rolled over on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, income tax evasion and failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, and that may be the most boring thing about this guy. He’s incredible.
Most of what we know about Blazer come from two long articles published last year. The first, from June 2014, came out in Buzzfeed. It details how Blazer went from an unemployed soccer dad to building the (hugely profitable) soccer scene in North America. In November, the New York Daily News published an article called “Soccer Rat!” about Blazer’s corruption and subsequent deal with the FBI.
They’re both fascinating, if you have the time to comb through them. Here’s a bunch of highlights. None of this is particularly new information, but for anyone not acquainted with the delight that is Chuck Blazer, this should serve as a quick primer.
- He has a blue pet Macaw named Max.
- He was unemployed in 1989 when he went to Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago and convinced Jack Warner (also one of the indicted parties) to run for CONCACAF president. Blazer managed Warner’s campaign, won, and became General Secretary.
- In Blazer’s deal with CONCACAF, he collected 10 percent on every dollar the company brought in. This meant that if you bought a hot dog, 10 cents on your dollar went into Blazer’s pocket (or, more likely, into an offshore bank account of a company controlled by him).
- He didn’t pay income taxes for over a decade.
- Between 1991 and 2011 made almost $22 million (that we know of).
- He racked up $29 million in credit card charges in a similar time frame.
- Oh, those credit card charges? They went on an American Express card owned by CONCACAF. But guess who kept all the points. Go on, guess.
- It was Chuck Blazer. He kept all the points. Good guess!
- CONCACAF bought him a $48,500 Hummer SUV.
- CONCACAF paid for his homes in New York, Miami Beach, and the Bahamas.
- The Miami Beach location was two adjoining apartments in the Mondrian that cost $810,000.
- The New York location is special. You’re going to like this. So CONCACAF’s offices took up the entire 17th floor of the Trump Tower. Blazer lived on the 49th floor with a view of Central Park and The Plaza hotel. CONCACAF covered most of his $18,000-per-month rent. Okay, cool. But the best part: he had an adjoining $6,000 apartment just for his cats.
- According to someone who used to work with him, Blazer liked to work in his underwear, in the dark, on his laptop. This guy also weighed 450 pounds. Enjoy that mental image.
- I say weighed because he’s now in his 70s and has colon cancer.
- Apparently, Blazer’s wife paid for the Trump Tower offices initially until CONCACAF started making money. She divorced him in 1995. After that he started going to beauty pageants, and he and Warner hit the strip clubs together.
- He also started dating Mary Lynn Blanks, an actress in All My Children and As The World Turns.
- Here’s a post from Blazer’s blog in which he invites you to enjoy Blanks’ legs. More on that blog in a bit.
- In the last FIFA presidential election, Sepp Blatter was challenged by Mohammed bin Hammam. CONCACAF generally votes as a block. To secure their votes, bin Hammam slid manila envelopes with $40,000 cash to voters. Blazer was the one credited for blowing the whistle on this. Warner quit soccer to avoid further prosecution from FIFA. Bin Hammam was banned from the sport for life. And Blazer was hailed as the guy cleaning FIFA up.
- One of his blog posts is entitled “Not in smoke filled rooms anymore…” and has pictures of him with other members of FIFA.
- Anyway, since then, the FBI approached Blazer (while he was riding a mobility scooter, naturally), and pretty much told him to comply or it had enough to put him away for a long time. So he’s been helping the feds ever since. Apparently the FBI gave him a key chain with a tiny mic built into a fob that he leaves on the table when setting up meetings with FIFA bigwigs.
That about brings us up to date. But let’s go back that blog.
While Blazer was jetting around on CONCACAF’s dime, he kept a fascinating account of it on a blogspot page called “Travels with Chuck Blazer and his Friends…” Some guy named Vladimir Putin convinced him to add the “and his Friends” part, and even posted a few times on there. They’re friends. Here:
I went through every post today, because I’m a fun human being with a full and rich social life. Rob Wile has his favorites, but I can’t resist sharing mine:
This is Chuck Blazer at the dentist.
Here’s Chuck meeting Bill Clinton. The header image on the blog is a picture with Nelson Mandela.
He also met Prince William.
And Dr. Ruth. And a bunch of other famous people.
Besides celebrities, Blazer loved Halloween. Loved it. Here’s some of his costumes down the years.
As Santa Claus. Not much of a stretch here.
On an R2D2 scooter as Obi-Wan with the family as other Star Wars characters.
As the devil.