Top Nigerian athlete faces 20-year sentence for $100k cyber fraud scheme

Top Nigerian athlete faces 20-year sentence for $100k cyber fraud scheme

Mercy Abire, a Nigerian long jumper living in the United States, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

As her coconspirators, the 28-year-old and two other athletes, including reigning African Games men’s 100m champion Raymond Ekevwo and former teen sensation Aniekeme Etimwere, were charged with wire and mail fraud in the United States.

It will be recalled that some Nigerian athletes were on the verge of facing 20 years maximum imprisonment for internet fraud.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, between November 2018 and April 2019, Abire transmitted over $100,000.00 to coconspirators using her US bank account.

According to the court documents and information presented between 2018 and 2022, Abire and her coconspirators used online romance scams, online charity scams, and other types of fraud to defraud victims of their money.

“The money received as a result of these scams was then transferred between the conspirators, and ultimately, much of the money was transferred overseas.

“Between November 2018 and April of 2019, Abire herself transferred over $100,000.00 to coconspirators through her US bank account,” read the documents.

The long jumper is expected to be sentenced on August 30, with the maximum jail term being 20 years.

According to reports, a federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

“Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Eichner originally prosecuted the case, and it is currently being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Buckner,” reports revealed.

Abire earned a college scholarship to attend Oral Roberts University. She transferred to Louisiana State University (LSU) and became a multiple NCAA All-American in long jump.

Abire’s talent as a young athlete made her Nigeria’s next great name in women’s long jump. She accomplished a lifetime best of 6.52m two years ago at the Nigerian Championships.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel