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Former UV athlete accused of fraud scheme



Lehi, UT- An ex Utah Valley University athlete is involved in an online romance scam where they were asking the victims for money.

Reportedly, the federal grand jury says that 22-year-old Ashraf Abudu, together with other defendants made fake social media accounts to bait victims into online romantic relationships, so they could ask for money from them.

This is an international money laundering conspiracy.

According to the charges filed in the Northern District of New York, Abudu faces one count of conspiracy to commit fire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Allegedly, the prosecutors said that the accused damaged the victims for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Abudu’s coconspirators met the victims on internet-based social media platforms. The coconspirators pretended to be women interested in romantic relationships, men in the armed services, and other personas, when, in fact, the coconspirators were not,” the indictment says.

The scheme included sending stuff in the mail from Abudu in order to gain the victim’s trust.

“The coconspirators then used the victims’ identifying information to apply for unemployment benefits in New York State, Arizona, and elsewhere. Abudu and the coconspirators caused debit cards containing those unemployment funds to be mailed to victims the coconspirators instructed the victims to send the fraudulently obtained unemployment benefit funds to Abudu by way of the mail and through internet-based money transfer services,” the indictment alleges.

The rest of the conspirators were based in Ghana, where the bigger money percentage was sent.

Utah Valley University reported that Abudu is a former student of theirs.

He is now in Weber County Jail and will follow a hearing in federal court on Thursday afternoon.