Cruz Azul president Guillermo “Billy” Alvarez is adamant that allegations surrounding financial fraud and money laundering are “slander” and has vowed to prove his and the company’s innocence.
Alvarez, who is also the general director of the Cruz Azul cement corporation that funds the club, had his bank accounts frozen by the Mexican government’s financial fraud department (UIF) at the end of last month pending an investigation.
The Mexican government is investigating bank transfers of close to $50 million USD to accounts in the United States and Spain; the purchase of 11 properties in the U.S.; the relationship with a player agent and the existence of two people named “Guillermo Alvarez,” amongst other issues, reported ESPN’s Omar Flores and Leon Lecanda, who obtained access to the 81-page document relating to the investigation.
“The amount that was given as income doesn’t correspond to the financial movement found and mentioned in previous paragraphs, which is why we don’t know from where the resources that were sent abroad came from,” read part of the UIF document.
Alvarez is denying the accusations that he diverted funds away from the company for his own personal gain, or that any financial fraud has been committed by him or Cruz Azul.
“They are totally false imputations and accusations that have been leaked against the company,” said Alvarez in a video published by the club.
Alvarez added that the transfers and property purchases weren’t anything out of the ordinary and said that documentation would be “given over to the authorities to clear up.”
The 74-year-old also suggested that other forces are seeking to destabilize him and the company.
“I join the energetic rejection of the defamation and slander to which our beloved company has been subjected,” said Alvarez. “Once again, [claims of] manipulation and defamation seek to alter our social peace, our obligations and economic rights as workers, generating an adverse media opinion that could have altered our path of success and development.”
Cruz Azul is considered one of Mexico’s “big four” clubs, but is without a Liga MX title since 1997.
Mexico’s financial fraud department (UIF) signed an agreement with Liga MX in November 2019 to attempt to work together to protect Mexican football against money laundering. Liga MX announced on June 4 that it met with the UIF to continue to work on the objective.