Ex-footballer jailed for posing as Chelsea player and living extravagant lifestyle

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle
Abalimba (left) and Kakuta. (GMP/Getty)
Abalimba (left) and Kakuta. (GMP/Getty)

Ex-footballer Medi Abalimba has begun a four-year jail term after admitting to 12 counts of fraud while posing as Chelsea player Gael Kakuta. Abalimba lived in a world of mansions, spending sprees and nightclub excess across England totaling a loss of £163,000 for his victims while claiming to be the 23-year-old Chelsea winger currently on loan at Spanish club Rayo Vallecano.

From the BBC:

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Abalimba, of Burton Street, London, phoned venues claiming to be the agent of Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta before turning up posing as the player.

The court was told he would ring a venue advising of the imminent arrival of an elite sport star, requesting discretion and paying for goods with stolen credit card details.

In June 2014, he visited a Manchester nightclub and ordered £2,600 worth of champagne while claiming he left his wallet in a limousine.

"I left my wallet in my limo" — an excuse that works every time.

With the help of stolen credit card information, Abalimba, who made a  £1 million move to Derby County in 2009 before his career sputtered out, spent thousands on chauffeur-driven Bentleys, shopping sprees at Selfridges and more. He even took four women on a helicopter ride from Manchester to London. 

Greater Manchester Police tracked him down to an £800-a-night rented mansion in Berkshire.

Sgt Adam Cronshaw of GMP, said Abalimba was "charming and charismatic" and could call on his previous football experience and "some resemblance to the real Gael Kakuta to deceive his victims".

You might ask why Abalimba would pose as Kakuta, of all footballers, but there was actually a certain flawed logic to it. In Kakuta you have someone who has all the benefits of being associated with a big, rich club but without being recognizable to the general public, as most players for a club like Chelsea are.

With this case settled, expect police to now focus on catching whoever that was posing as Fernando Torres in London the last three years.

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Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!

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