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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020

Man jailed for four years for impersonating Chelsea youngster Kakuta

Medi Abalimba was convicted of multiple fraud offences totalling €67,000 after assuming the Blues starlet’s identity to help maintain a lavish lifestyle.

Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Chelsea v Ipswich Town - Stamford Bridge Kakuta in action for Chelsea.

A FORMER FOOTBALLER who committed fraud by impersonating Chelsea youngster Gael Kakuta has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Medi Abalimba, himself a former footballer with Derby County, Fulham, Crystal Palace, Oldham Athletic and Southend United, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday of multiple fraud offences totalling approximately €67,000 (£53,000).

When his own once promising football career fizzled out, Abalimba sought to maintain the lavish lifestyle of a top-level professional by masquerading as Kakuta, a France Under-21 international currently on loan from Chelsea with Spanish side Rayo Vallecano.

Abalimba used his assumed identity – combined with stolen credit card details – to gain VIP treatment at nightclubs, eat at expensive restaurants, stay in boutique hotels, order designer clothes, travel everywhere in chauffeur-driven limousines and woo women.

Sergeant Adam Cronshaw told reporters: ”Having spoken with many of the victims in this case it appears that Abalimba is a charming and charismatic individual who was able to call on his previous football experience and the fact he bears some resemblance to the real Gael Kakuta to deceive them.

He was able to trick most people he came across and grew in confidence the longer the charade continued. He became so skilled in lies and deceit that his character went from being plausible to unquestionable.

“I’m glad we were able to catch him and prevent further loss to other potential victims as he showed no signs of halting his activity. I hope more businesses are now aware of this scam and have the necessary security measures in place to prevent similar occurrences.”

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