Union Omaha is a professional soccer club based out of Nebraska that plays in USL League One. Chances are, they love it whenever they can get a little publicity that draws attention to their club. That said, we’re guessing that they weren’t interested in garnering the kind of interest that comes with one of their players being indicted on federal charges over “internet romance scams.”
According to Alia Conley at the Omaha World-Herald, 24-year-old starting defender Abdul Osumanu has been charged with two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and receipt of stolen money. He was charged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Osumanu, who hails from Ghana, played for Union Omaha in all of their first five games this season, including a tilt on May 26. The very next day, he was taken into custody in Douglas County Jail and then appeared in federal court in Omaha on May 28.
The franchise posted a message about the situation on their Twitterfeed Wednesday. “Last Thursday afternoon, Union Omaha became aware of a pending legal action involving one of our players,” said the franchise. “We are currently gathering information and are fully cooperating with authorities.”
Club statement: pic.twitter.com/hxQDsiTuo5
— Union Omaha ? (@Union_Omaha) June 2, 2021
According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of West Virginia, Osumanu and eight other men were involved in “online romance scams” meant to persuade victims to send them money. The 200 victims noted in the press released have reportedly handed over $2.5 million. However, the press release also noted that the cases involving all of the men were not related.
Per the indictment, Osumanu and another man created fake profiles that lured unsuspecting victims to give them money, iTunes cards, and more. While the duo apparently started small, they eventually got victims to send them $5,700, $10,000, and eventually $46,000. The indictment specifically lists money subject to forfeiture in connection with the case as at least $24,882 for Osumanu and at least $189,404 for the other person.