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Cousin of rapper Nelly pleads guilty to defrauding Ravens defensive back Brandon Carr

A Missouri man on Tuesday admitted that he defrauded Ravens defensive back Brandon Carr out of $250,000 with false claims of ownership in an apparel company.

Abayomi Jamil “Yomi” Martin, 43, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to one felony count of wire fraud. Martin is the cousin of hip-hop star Cornelius Haynes Jr., better known as Nelly. Lawyer Scott Rosenblum told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last month that the rapper no longer had a business relationship with Martin.

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Martin admitted that, in soliciting an investment from Carr and Carr’s business manager, he falsely claimed to be a part owner of the apparel company Famous Nobodys through a holding company. Martin told them that Carr’s $250,000 investment would give Carr a 17.5% ownership interest in the holding company, and in September 2016, Carr wired the money into a bank account controlled by Martin.

But the actual owner of Famous Nobodys had no knowledge of or involvement in the scheme, and Martin used Carr’s investment to pay off credit cards and cover expenses related to the training of several professional boxers in Las Vegas, prosecutors said. Carr had intended to use any profits from his investment to fund the Carr Cares Foundation, according to prosecutors, which he founded to inspire young students to become more proficient readers and adopt healthy lifestyles.

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But Carr never received any funds back from Martin, who deceived Carr and his business manager with fraudulent updates about Carr’s investment in Famous Nobodys. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry at one point Tuesday interrupted Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith to ask Martin whether everything Goldsmith had said was true. Martin said that it was.

Defense lawyer Jimmy Miller told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday that the case involved more of a “bad investment” than a scheme to defraud, and that there had been no mention of Carr’s investments benefiting a charity until Tuesday.

Martin is scheduled to be sentenced June 3 and could face 15 to 21 months of prison under recommended federal sentencing guidelines, according to the Post-Dispatch.

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