HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Two collegiate athletes were convicted on Thursday for transferring thousands of dollars to Nigeria as part of a complex fraud scheme.
According to court documents, 23-year-old Emmanuel Ineh and 25-year-old Toluwani Adebakin 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.
Prosecutors said 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. According to officials, William Carey University was cooperative throughout the investigation.
Both defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on February 15, 2023, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. They both face a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.