The United Nations is waving an accusatory finger at Dikembe Mutombo for perpetrating a fraud in Africa. Mutombo, the former NBA star and famed international humanitarian, is accused by the U.N. Security Council of hatching an international conspiracy to pocket millions of dollars worth of gold in his native homeland.
A defensive wizard, Mutombo was known for always wagging his index finger after blocking an opponent’s shot.
The U.N. says Mutombo conspired with an American tycoon and a third party to sell over a thousand pounds of gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Such a transaction is explicitly illegal because there is a ban on mining and exports in the DRC because the revenue allegedly gets funneled to the militia that controls it.
The 400-page report states that Mutombo, who played most of his NBA career for the Atlanta Hawks, was the mastermind behind the alleged plot to ship the gold out of the country. He supposedly commissioned Kase Lawal, the chairman of CAMAC, a Houston-based energy company and who frequently conducts business on the continent to help them with the plan.
Lawal then brought Carlos St. Mary aboard because he has experience in third-world mineral transactions, the report continues. The deal was estimated to be valued at approximately $10 million, to be split between the three, with Lawal getting 40 percent and the others slicing the remaining 60 percent down the middle.
The plot was thwarted, the U.N. says, when the gold and $6 million in cash were intercepted by Congolese officials at gunpoint at Goma International Airport.
While there’s no indication that the investigation will continue, Mutombo’s sterling reputation took a big hit because he was perhaps even more famous for putting in much work to positively impact the trying conditions in his Congolese homeland.
Below are five athletes who were accused or convicted of being involved in illicit behavior during or after their careers.