Two collegiate athletes were convicted Thursday before U.S. District Judge Kristi Johnson for transferring thousands of dollars to Nigeria as part of a complex fraud scheme.
U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Jackson Field Office announced the conviction in a release Thursday night.
According to court documents, Emmanuel Ineh, 23, and Toluwani Adebakin, 25, pleaded guilty to violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957, for engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activities, 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 the Ineh and Adebakin were Track and Field teammates at William Carey University. William Carey University was cooperative throughout the investigation.
Both defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on February 15, 2023 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.