Report: Feds Investigating USA Swimming Over Sex Abuse Claims, Business Practices
USA Swimming is being investigated by the federal government, who allege that the organization went out of their way to discredit sexual abuse claims by athletes, hid their assets and got rebates in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars from its own insurance company, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The probe is being led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with a federal grand jury in Manhattan hearing evidence in the case.
Investigators want to know if swimmers and other athletes felt pressure to perform sex acts on coaches in exchange for receiving prime spots in competition.
One thing prosecutors are looking at is a "money trail” between USA Swimming and an insurance company and if the organization moved money to the USA Swimming Foundation in order to hide assets.
According to the Journal, the foundation’s endowment has gone from $5 million in 2008 to $18.3 million in 2017, with $5 million being transferred to the foundation in 2011.
In order to discredit the sexual abuse, the Journal details how it was done.
The accusers had to submit complaints to USA Swimming, who would then have an executive look into the claims to see if it warranted any disciplinary action. An investigator hired outside of USA Swimming then would be hired to conduct interviews.
Then a lawyer, represented by USA Swimming, would contact the accuser to talk about the allegations.
“The system is designed to stop you from wanting to report,” a person briefed on the investigation told the Journal.