A failed footballer, who lived a luxury lifestyle after pretending to be Chelsea player, has been jailed for four years.
Medi Abalimba was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday after admitting to fraud and dishonesty totaling 163,000 pounds ($262,000) by passing himself off as French winger Gael Kakuta.
Medi Abalimba, was once a promising star, earning up to £4,000-a-week and was once sold to Derby County for £1.2million. But his career flopped after he struggled to recover from an injury, so he turned to crime.
Medi Abalimba went on a shopping spree at Selfridges, stayed at top hotels and even hired a helicopter. Abalimba was caught after he attempted to buy clothing worth more than £20,000 from Selfridge’s at the Trafford Centre near Manchester – even practising his football skills inside while browsing.
The 25-year-old Abalimba had spells as a professional player with Derby, Oldham, Fulham and Crystal Palace. He continued living the high life by passing himself off to businesses and people as Kakuta, staying in luxury hotels, running up bar tabs of thousands of dollars and being chauffeur-driven around in a Bentley.
Gael Kakuta, 23, is currently on loan for Spanish team Rayo Vallecano for the 2014-15 season.