Skip to main content

Jeffrey Lehtman Quoted on Extradition Viability in FIFA Case in Law360

"FIFA Case Enters Year 7 With Extradition Asterisks"


Jeffrey Lehtman, former trial attorney in the Office of International Affairs within the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Criminal Division, commented on the status and viability of extradition in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) case seven years after the first indictment in the U.S. government's corruption probe of international soccer. Of the 34 defendants who were charged in the case, 13 have not been extradited to the U.S., including three who have died while fighting extradition. While extradition negotiations can occur for defendants protected by certain kinds of treaties, Lehtman said. "[I]t's pretty unlikely a country who does not have the obligation to extradite its own under the treaty would negotiate giving up their own, except in the most extraordinary or egregious situations." Lehtman, however, said charges against the 10 not-yet-extradited defendants will likely be open for years to come. "I don't see any reason why the U.S. would drop the charges," Lehtman said. "I think DOJ is much more likely to say, 'It doesn't cost us anything to leave that Interpol Red Notice in place and see what happens.'"