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Former Nike Manager Charged in Million-Dollar Plot to Defraud the Swoosh

A former Nike Inc. manager is facing multiple charges related to an alleged plot to defraud the Swoosh, including purportedly embezzling more than $1 million from the brand between 2016 and 2018.

Federal prosecutors in Oregon today charged Errol Andam, a former marketing manager at Nike, with wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements on a loan application as part of a scheme to defraud his former employer. Nike said its own internal investigation team uncovered Andam’s alleged criminal activity in 2017. After he was terminated from the company, the brand said it turned over the evidence to the U.S. Attorney.

“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. We want to thank the U.S. Attorney for its efforts on this case,” Nike said in its statement.

According to prosecutors,  Andam — who was employed by the Swoosh from 2001 to 2018 and worked at its global campus in Beaverton — diverted and embezzled nearly $1.5 million in Nike proceeds for his own use between September 2016 through December 2018.

During the summer of 2016, prosecutors allege Andam recruited a childhood friend to establish a company to design and build the pop-up shops as an independent contractor for Nike.

“Andam used his authority as a manager at Nike to ensure that his friend’s company was consistently awarded the contracts for these jobs,” the prosecutors said in a statement. “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.”

To conceal his role in the alleged scheme, authorities said Andam used an alter ego, “Frank Little,” to invoice Nike and manage the contract company’s account with Square Inc., a California-based provider of mobile credit-card-processing services..

Prosecutors said Andam “caused” credit-card sales at various pop-up venues around the U.S. to be run through card readers associated with a Square account owned by his friend’s company. These proceeds were allegedly transferred to Square and then to Andam’s LLC bank account in Oregon. Andam allegedly told both Nike and his friend that the proceeds of those sales were credited against the total amount Nike owed to his friend’s company.

“In truth, Andam simply pocketed the proceeds and, as ‘Frank Little,’ invoiced Nike for the full cost of the contracted services,” prosecutors said.

Andam faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, fines of up to $4.5 million, and 5 years’ supervised release. He will be arraigned on March 5 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.

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