A former Nike marketing manager entered into a plea deal last week, almost two months after federal prosecutors filed criminal charges alleging he embezzled nearly $1.5 million.
Errol Andam, a manager in Nike’s North American retail brand marketing division until December 2018, agreed to plead guilty Friday to criminal charges of wire fraud, money laundering and submitting a false mortgage application, according to The Oregonian. He reportedly faces 24 to 37 months in prison.
Andam is scheduled to formally change his plea Monday. Though entered into the court Friday, the plea agreement has since been sealed.
Federal prosecutors filed charges against Andam in February. According to the Oregonian, prosecutors had been working on the case since late 2018, around the time Andam left Nike. Company officials reportedly brought the case to prosecutors’ attention.
The charges filed against Andam alleged he devised and implemented “a material scheme to defraud Nike” by diverting and embezzling sales generated at popup venues he oversaw.
The prosecutors claimed Andam recruited a childhood friend in the summer of 2016 to establish a company to design and build popup venues as an independent contractor for Nike. Using his authority at the company, Andam allegedly ensured this business was consistently awarded contracts. The charges claim Andam assumed control of the business’ financial accounts using an alter ego, “Frank Little,” to conceal his role.
The February court filing alleges Andam used this position to embezzle credit-card and cash sales to the tune of at least $1.495 million.
Additionally, the prosecutors also claimed Andam made a false statement on a mortgage loan application in 2018. Their filing alleges he used a check drawn from a bank account owned by his friend’s business and with the forged signature of his accomplice to falsely reflect the revenue of 3rd & Detroit LLC, a shell company Andam employed to funnel proceeds from Nike to his personal accounts.
Andam also faces a count of money laundering related to an attempt to sell that same residence last July.
Nike has recently found itself in court for a very different reason. Last week, the company filed a trademark lawsuit against the Brooklyn art collective MSCHF for its Satan-inspired Lil Nas X sneaker collaboration—made with Nike’s own Air Max 97s. That litigation is ongoing, with MSCHF due to file opposing papers Thursday and Nike slated to file its response Monday.