Former Nike marketer Errol Andam sentenced to 31 months for embezzlement
A federal judge sentenced former Nike trader Errol Andam to 31 months in prison on Tuesday, saying the convicted fraudster’s crimes were not an isolated incident of temptation and bad judgment.
“It was not a momentary error,” said US District Court Judge Michael Mosman. “It took time and planning.”
Over two years, in fact. Andam, 47, admitted that between September 2016 and December 2018, he embezzled nearly $ 1.5 million from Nike.
“I take full responsibility for what I did,” Andam told the court. “I shamed my family.”
Mark Ahlemeyer, Andam’s defense attorney, has called for a shorter sentence of 24 months, arguing that Andam has already suffered an increase of cosmic proportions. He submitted several letters from friends attesting to Andam’s loyalty and character. Other friends wanted to support Andam, Ahlemeyer said, but they were afraid to cross Nike.
“He’s an outcast in his field,” Ahlemeyer said. “The people who support him cannot write a letter because they are afraid of their former employer.”
While working for the shoe giant, Andam created so-called “pop-up” stores that are both Nike sanctuaries and small portable retail stores. He controlled millions of dollars in Nike subcontracts and by all accounts was pretty good at what he did.
“He should be seated comfortably on top of his ship,” Ahlemeyer said. “He helped create a whole new avenue of marketing. He never seemed to sleep.
Maybe that’s because Andam developed a taste for cocaine, his lawyer said. He began to frequent fancy clubs with sports stars and underage celebrities.
Andam, who was able to award lucrative contracts to subcontractors, began billing Nike under fake names and pocketing the proceeds from the events he organized to fund his slapstick lifestyle. eye, prosecutors said.
That caught up with him in 2018, when he left Nike and company officials brought the case to the attention of prosecutors.
Andam asked to serve his sentence in a federal prison in Yankton, South Dakota. It’s the closest facility to Iowa, where Andam’s wife and child now live. Andam’s wife is expecting a second child.
Adam was also ordered to pay over $ 1.6 million in restitution. The Internal Revenue Service had previously seized $ 212,838 in Andam’s derivatives, and these were also confiscated.
Ryan Bounds, the lead prosecutor in the case, requested a 37-month sentence. The defense asked for 24 months. Mosman shared the difference with 31.
Mosman said the impact of the crime on the victim was among the factors that convinced him to go with a sentence six months shorter than that requested by prosecutors. For a company with $ 44 billion a year in revenue, the $ 1.7 million loss “probably isn’t going to slow them down very much,” Mosman said. “If you take $ 1 million from Nike, it’s less of a problem than if you take $ 1 million from your grandmother.”
Mosman also said Andam deserves a lower sentence because he has cooperated fully with prosecutors and really seems to want to turn a new leaf.
“You’ve already started to change your life,” the judge told Andam, “and you haven’t had any problems”.