USL players charged with $ 200,000 catfishing program

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A United Soccer League player was charged with fishing two people for a total of US $ 215,000.

Abdul Osumanu, 24, is a Union Omaha defender. He and Banabas Ganidekam were tried last week in a US District Court in West Virginia on two counts of postal fraud, two counts of fraud, a money laundering charge, and a stolen money charge.

According to the indictment, Osumanu is charged with fishing people using online and text messaging communications to trick them into sending money to him and another man on the pretext of a romantic relationship.

Osumanu was among a group of nine men charged with unrelated alleged catfish fisheries that amounted to over $ 2.5 million out of 200 victims.

Federal prosecutors said Osumanu and Ganidekam cheated on a person in Indiana and a woman in California. The online relationship with the Indiana person allegedly began in 2017 when Osumanu was playing soccer for Marshall. The second case began in January 2020 when the two men allegedly pretended to be investment bankers and asked the woman for an upfront fee on an investment.

The woman then allegedly sent the money to Ganidekam and Osumanu received part of that money. Prosecutors said Ganidekam was responsible for nearly $ 190,000 in stolen money, while Osumanu received a cut of just under $ 25,000 for the multiple systems.

Osumanu had started all five Union Omaha games in 2021 and played in the team’s game on Wednesday, May 27. He was charged the day after the game. The team said Tuesday that it is “currently gathering information” after Osumanu was jailed on the same day that prosecutors announced the charges.

The team informed the Omaha World-Herald that Osumanu was not participating in team activities but had not been released.

Union Omaha general manager Peter Marlette declined Wednesday afternoon to comment on the nature of the charges against Osumanu. However, he said that Osumanu had been banned from team activities, including training and games, until his trial was completed. Marlette said Osumanu had not been fired from the team.

A native of Ghana, Osumanu played in Charleston in 2016 before joining Marshall for his final three seasons in college football. He signed with Union Omaha prior to the team’s first season in 2020 and played 15 games a season ago.

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