Trail of Laundered Payments Exposed at Bribery Trial

Trail of Laundered Payments Exposed at Bribery Trial

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John Daley ReportingIn testimony today the lid was lifted on the seamy world of incestuous Olympic financial relationships. The man in charge of International Relations at the USOC also testified that he was making hundreds of thousands of dollars on the side in secret consulting deals.

On the hot seat was Alfredo LaMont. Once the USOC's key international liaison, he pleaded guilty to two federal felonies in exchange for his testimony against Tom Welch and Dave Johnson.

Alfredo LaMont, Former USOC Official: "We'll talk when this is over. I can't make any comments right now I'm sorry."

On the stand LaMont was much more forthcoming, detailing a secret consulting contract he had with the Salt Lake bid committee. A month before the vote for the 2002 Games Welch and Johnson asked LaMont to give money to an IOC member from Bardados--12-thousand dollars LaMont called a "bribe." In the end Lamont gave Austin Sealy three thousand and kept nine thousand for himself.

On cross-examination LaMont admitted he had a close relationship with then IOC top boss Juan Antonio Samaranch. LaMont testified Samaranch would take his calls and that he provided Samaranch with confidential Olympic information.

Then LaMont revealed a head-spinning array of secret Olympic contracts he entered. 40-thousand dollar deals with Rome and Istanbul, both competing for the 2004 Games, and a 200-thousand dollar contract with Olympic sponsor Samsung Corporation to prepare a memo once a month.

LaMont testified he got 12-thousand dollars from Jim Easton, owner of a US sporting goods company. LaMont said he spoke with IOC President Samaranch about Easton who later won one of two coveted US IOC memberships.

In all, LaMont's side deals were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, some of which was never reported on his taxes and unknown to his bosses. At day's end--the defendants were happy to let the courtroom testimony speak for itself.

Tom Welch, Former SLOC President: "My lawyer says it's a 'no comment day' and I think that's a pretty good comment."

The defense strategy here is obvious--to show that there were plenty of people in the Olympic world with their fingers in the pie and defendants Tom Welch and Dave Johnson were just playing the Olympic game, doing things the Olympic way.

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