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USA Swimming captive under scrutiny in abuse investigation: Report

USA Swimming captive under scrutiny in abuse investigation: Report

Federal prosecutors are investigating USA Swimming Inc. for possible financial wrongdoing in connection with its captive insurance company, as part of a broader investigation into how the organization handled sexual abuse allegations and related insurance claims, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The paper reported Tuesday that an investigation led by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was focused in part on the relationship between Colorado Springs, Colorado-based USA Swimming, its captive insurer and its foundation.

USA Swimming, the governing body for competitive swimming in the United States, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined comment.

The Barbados-domiciled captive, United States Sports Insurance Co., was fully owned by USA Swimming and set up in 1988, according to documents on the USA Swimming website.

The captive reinsured various liability policies for USA Swimming until it redomiciled to the District of Columbia in 2014, when it ceased providing coverage, USA Swimming documents say.

USA Swimming now buys insurance in the commercial market, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

According to the paper, which cited people familiar with the matter, federal prosecutors are investigating the relationship with the captive insurer as “a potential avenue for self-dealing by USA Swimming, as well as for possible misstatements in tax filings.”

Sex abuse victims and their lawyers allege the captive sought to avoid paying claims related to past alleged abuse claims, the report said.  

USA Swimming is also under scrutiny in a broader investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service into alleged sexual abuse, business misconduct and possible tax violations in Olympic sports organizations, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment, and the Internal Revenue Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.