Ex-footballers Efe Sodje, 46, and Stephen Sodje, 43, and former rugby player Bright Sodje, 51, were convicted of embezzling money from the Sodje Sports Foundation (SSF) established in 2009 to help children in Nigeria's Niger Delta oil producing region.

They were imprisoned respectively for 18, 21 and 30 months by a judge of the Central Criminal Court of London in 2017.

The NCA stated that the brothers had used their status and business relationships to raise funds and donations, but had not turned over the funds to the charity.

According to the NCA, the brothers used nearly £ 63,000 collected at charity events between 2011 and 2014 for their own profit.

During this period, they organized football matches and black dinners to raise funds, but nothing was given to the children, said the agency. his website. Donors also sent around £ 34,000 to their accounts.

The convictions of the two brothers in 2017 can only be reported now, after a judge lifted the restrictions on the case after a verdict was handed down in a criminal trial against a other brothers, the former Premier League footballer, Okeremute 'Sam & # 39; Samuel.

Sodje, 39, was tried alongside his brothers, but was acquitted at the first trial in 2017. He was subsequently prosecuted in another trial for money laundering. Silver, which ended on January 14 this year, announced the agency.

Sam Sodje arrived in Old Bailey, London on December 12, 2016, where he was charged with fraudulent trading as part of the management of the Sodje Sports Foundation.
The Sodjes are a family of 11 brothers and sisters born in Greenwich, south-east of London, of Nigerian parents, according to British media.

Efe played professional football for several clubs in the UK and represented the Nigerian national team at the 2002 FIFA World Cup ™.

"Bright, Efe, and Stephen Sodje portrayed themselves as caring, community-minded individuals when they knowingly defrauded people who thought they were helping disadvantaged children in Nigeria," said NCA deputy director Chris Farrimond. .

The NCA said its financial investigators had revealed that money was coming in and out of the foundation to establish "there was no charitable purpose" during the biggest part of its existence.

NCA worked with the United Kingdom's Charity Commission to ensure the prosecution of the three brothers.

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Another Sodje brother, Akpo, is still wanted in connection with the fraud charges.

The NCA stated that he had fled the UK during the investigation and that a warrant for arrest had been issued against him.