This is how the dominoes fall: Thanks to widespread corruption in a governing sports body based in Switzerland, some renters in the United States could be forced out of their homes.
It sounds crazy, but it's true. Those properties in question are owned by FIFA executives implicated in a massive string that has already seized hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal bribes and kickbacks. Because their owners have been indicted, the properties are eligible to by seized by the U.S. government, according to The New York Times.
The NYT reports that 13 such properties have been identified by the feds, who plan to seize them in the near future. The properties range in value from $70,000 to $1 million.
Some of those properties were used as temporary residences for the authorities at the center of the sting. But others renters are just normal people who happened to rent a property owned by a criminal.
And now, they could be looking for a new home.
One expert in asset recovery told The NYT that the reasoning is simple: U.S. based assets, such as property, are much easier to seize than offshore bank accounts.
"It's very difficult for real property to evaporate," he explains. "It's not going to travel through electronic wires to different countries."
But that's still a tough break for some of the property tenants. Sandra Cardona, a physical therapist, lives with her 10-year-old son in one of the properties slated for seizure.
"I was watching the news one night and heard the name Rafael Esquivel," Cardona tells the NYT. "I was shocked. That's the name I write on my rent check."
It isn't clear what will happen to the tenants if and when the property is seized -- what kind of notice to vacate they might receive. Many seem to have heard about the situation through hearsay, meaning they haven't been directly contacted by U.S. authorities.
Says one resident: "My neighbors are Cuban and they like baseball, so I'm not sure they even know."