Former Derby County midfielder Medi Abalimba has been jailed for plundering the bank accounts of Thierry Henry’s model ex-wife, Claire Henry.
This occurred after he claimed to be a US Navy Seal in a £160,000 scam.
Medi Abalimba, 32, conned Claire Henry out of more than £50,000 earlier this year after raiding her Coutts and HSBC accounts to stay at the Corinthia Hotel in Westminster.
Bills at the Corinthia and membership for Dubai’s Al Habtoor Polo Resort cost Ms Henry £38,839.11, while Abalimba spent another £13,000 on ‘general expenditure’.
Abalimba met Ms Henry at the Soho House private members’ club in central London and told her his name was Miguel Johnson, a Navy Seal.
The pair spoke every day for around four months, and Ms Henry could ‘hear sounds consistent with a military operation’ over the phone.
They stayed for a few nights at a Manchester Hotel, and on the day of checkout, Abalimba left early saying he had a meeting in Turkey, leaving Ms Henry to pay the bill.
He then checked into Westminster’s Corinthia Hotel under the name Mario Gonzalez in January. A Lamborghini, a Bentley, and a Porsche, ‘all acquired through deception’, arrived with him.
Abalimba admitted 15 counts of fraud between January 1 and March 1, and confessed to using a forged Illinois driving license and fake debit card in the name ‘M J Gonzalez Business’.
By Brian Ayatta