Watertown Man Arrested for Fraud Related to African Sports Ventures

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The following announcement came from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston:

A Watertown man was arrested today for allegedly defrauding investors who believed they were financing lucrative short-term sports ventures in Africa.

Adrian Kawuba, 33, was charged with one count of wire fraud. Kawuba will appear in federal court in Boston at 2:30 p.m. today before United States Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley.

According to the charging documents, Kawuba told his investors that he would invest their money in short-term financing of sports ventures in Africa and elsewhere overseas and that he would personally guarantee their investments. It is alleged however, that Kawuba did not invest any of the funds he received from victim investors. Instead, Kawuba allegedly used the money to pay for luxury goods and to pay purported returns to his investors – in some instances paying back an investor’s earlier investment with money that investors had just sent Kawuba for a new investment.

The charge of wire fraud provides a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the monetary loss or gain, whichever is greater, restitution and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. The Watertown Police Department provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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