FBI arrests former Northeastern track coach for allegedly tricking athletes into sending nude photos

·2 min read
Generic track and field shot.
Steve Waithe was charged with cyberstalking and wire fraud. (Photo by John Walton - PA Images via Getty Images)

Former Northeastern University track and field coach Steve Waithe was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday. Waithe was charged with one count of cyberstalking and one count of wire fraud after allegedly being part of a scheme in which he would attempt to trick athletes into sending him nude photos, according to NBC News.

Waithe, 28, is accused of cyberstalking at least one woman athlete. He also is alleged to have used fake Instagram accounts to ask athletes to send him nude or semi-nude photos. Waithe would reportedly convince athletes he needed to use their phones so he could take videos of their workouts. While doing that, Waithe reportedly took nude or semi-nude photos of the athletes off their phones. He then allegedly used fake Instagram accounts to contact the athletes about those photos.

As part of the scheme, Waithe reportedly pretended to work for a site that attempted to determine who leaked those photos. Waithe would then allegedly attempt to get more nude photos from the women so he could perform "reverse image searches," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Waithe is also accused of contacting women athletes from another fake account and asking for images of the athletes in swimsuits. He allegedly claimed he needed the photos as part of an "athlete research” or “body development" study.

Investigators have identified more than 10 victims already, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. They also found "300 related nude and semi-nude images of victims of the scheme in Waithe’s email accounts."

The FBI is currently seeking more victims who believe they were targeted as part of Waithe's alleged schemes.

Steve Waithe fired from Northeastern in 2019

Waithe served as a track and field coach at Northeastern University in Boston from 2018 to 2019. He was fired by the school after "a university investigation into his inappropriate conduct toward female student athletes," a school spokesperson told NBC News.

Waithe is set to appear in court Wednesday afternoon. If convicted, Waithe faces up to 20 years in prison.

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