Former Nike Marketing Manager Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, and Making False Statements
PORTLAND, Ore.—Errol Andam, 49, of Beaverton, Oregon, a former marketing manager at Nike, Inc., pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements on a loan application as part of a scheme to defraud his former employer, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug.
According to court documents, from 2001 until his termination in 2018, Andam was employed by Nike at its headquarters in Beaverton. Most recently, Andam worked as a manager in the company’s North American Retail Brand Marketing division wherein he managed the design, build-out, and operation of “pop-up” retail venues, temporary Nike shops situated near and tailored to sports competitions and other special events around the U.S.
In the summer of 2016, Andam recruited a childhood friend to establish a company to design and build the pop-up venues 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. 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 scheme, 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. In 2016, Andam also renewed the lapsed registration of an Oregon-based limited liability corporation (LLC) he owned so that he could use the defunct entity as a shell company to funnel the proceeds diverted from Nike and his friend’s company to accounts under his personal control.
Beginning in September 2016, 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 transferred to Square in California and then to Andam’s LLC bank account in Oregon. Andam represented to both Nike and his friend that the proceeds of these 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.
From September 2016 through December 2018, Andam diverted and embezzled nearly $1.5 million in Nike proceeds for his own use. In July 2018, Andam submitted a fake financial statement from his LLC in support of a residential mortgage loan application. The financial statement falsely reflected as revenue checks for $194,000 drawn on a bank account owned by his friend’s business. Andam forged his friend’s signature on one of the checks and withdrew much of that money without his friend’s knowledge.
On February 4, 2021, Andam was charged by criminal information with wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements on a loan application.
Under the terms of Andam’s plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will recommend a sentence of 37 months in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 12, 2021. Andam will ask for a sentence of not less than 24 months. He has also agreed to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution and forfeit $212,838 in criminally-derived proceeds.
This case was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.