Two Nigerian sportsmen, Emmanuel Ineh 23, a long jumper and Toluwani Adebakin 25, a sprinter, both collegiate athletes, have been convicted and found guilty of transferring thousands of dollars to Nigeria as part of a complex fraud scheme by a United States District Court in Hattiesburg, Mississippi State.

This is contained in a statement by the U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of FBI’s Jackson Field Office, and made available on the website of the US Department of Justice.

According to court documents, Ineh and Adebakin both pleaded guilty to violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957, for engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activities and collectively sending tens of thousands of illicitly obtained proceeds to fraudsters in Nigeria as part of a larger mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy.

The scheme involved track-and-field athletes from multiple higher learning institutions in the United States, with part of the conspiracy being operated out of Hattiesburg while Ineh and Adebakin were Track and Field teammates at William Carey University.

Both are scheduled to be sentenced on the 15th February 2023 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew W. Eichner.
Emmanuel Ineh represented Nigeria at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, where he won silver, while Toluwani Adebakin is a 200m and 400m runner.

Story: Elizabeth Ereke


November 17, 2022