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Press Release

Watertown Man Sentenced to Over Two Years in Prison for African Sports Ponzi Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Watertown man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for defrauding investors who believed they were financing lucrative sports ventures in Africa.

Adrian Kawuba, 34 was sentenced by United States Senior District Court Judge William G. Young to 27 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Kawuba was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $625,000, forfeiture of more than $2.2 million and to pay a special assessment of $400. In December 2023, Kawuba pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud. 

Kawuba told his victims that he would invest their money in short-term financing of youth sports ventures in Africa and elsewhere and that he would personally guarantee their investments. In fact, Kawuba did not invest any of the victims’ funds. Instead, Kawuba used the money to pay for luxury goods and to pay purported returns to his investors – in some instances re-paying a victim’s earlier investment with money victims had sent Kawuba for a new investment. The scheme involved at least 26 fraudulent deals, and involved more than $2.2 million in victim funds, of which Kawuba kept more than $625,000.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, 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 the Office’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated April 11, 2024

Financial Fraud