A former Nike Inc. marketing manager has pleaded guilty to alleged wire and mail fraud.
According to federal court documents filed on Friday in the United States District Court in Portland, Errol Andam faces 24 months to 37 months in prison after pleading guilty to criminal charges of wire fraud, money laundering and submitting a false mortgage application.
The Oregonian was the first to report the news late last week, and those documents have now been sealed. The plea agreement requires Andam to pay $1.49 million in restitution to Nike and $173,172 to another company called Maplewood Mfg. A hearing on the plea agreement is set for April 12. (Andam initially faced a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, fines of up to $4.5 million, and five years’ supervised release.)
FN has reached out to Nike for comment.
In February, federal prosecutors in Oregon accused Andam of embezzling $1.4 million between September 2016 through December 2018 as part of a scheme to defraud the sportswear behemoth. He joined the Swoosh in 2001 and was employed through 2018, working at its global campus in Beaverton, Ore.
According to authorities, Andam recruited childhood friend Keith Respicio in the summer of 2016 to establish a company that designed and built pop-up shops as an independent contractor for Nike. That company, based in Los Angeles, was Maplewood.
The prosecutors said that Andam used an alter ego called “Frank Little” to invoice Nike and manage the contract company’s account with San Francisco-based digital payments provider Square Inc. in an attempt to conceal his role in the alleged scheme. The proceeds from the credit card sales were purportedly transferred to Square and then to Andam’s LLC bank account in Oregon.
“Andam used his authority as a manager at Nike to ensure that his friend’s company was consistently awarded the contracts for these jobs,” authorities said in a statement in February. “Though he had no formal role in his friend’s company, Andam assumed control of much of the company’s financial operations, managing financial accounts and issuing invoices to Nike.”
Nike shared that its own internal investigation team had uncovered Andam’s alleged criminal activity in 2017. In a statement in February, the athletic apparel and footwear giant said, “It’s unfortunate that Mr. Andam, who had a job that allowed him access to some of the most exciting events in the world of sport, chose to abuse the trust that Nike put in him.”