Former USC Linebacker Abdul-Malik McClain Facing 20 Years In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Covid-19 Scheme

Abdul-Malik McClain

Former USC Linebacker Abdul-Malik McClain Facing 20 Years In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Covid-19 Scheme

Ex-college football player Abdul-Malik McClain submitted a guilty plea following allegations of scamming the government.

A U.S. Justice Department release confirmed that the 24-year-old will be sentenced soon. He was convicted of illegally obtaining hundreds of thousands in fraudulent money secured during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Abdul-Malik McClain

In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, Abdul-Malik McClain left his blossoming collegiate career with the USC Trojans back in 2020 after the government opened a federal probe against him and his brother/fellow USC student Munir McClain, as well as several others. The students were investigated for charges related to fraudulently obtaining benefits from California’s Employment Development Department, with allegations that Abdul-Malik McClain specifically:

“organized and assisted a group of other football players in filing fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits.”

At the time, both the McClain brothers transferred schools with Munir going to Utah and Abdul-Malik briefly attending Jackson State. Abdul-Malik was arrested and officially charged with 10 counts of mail fraud and two counts of aggregated identity theft in 2021. Speaking on the matter, U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada wrote in the recent press release:

“Instead of using his time at a major university to advance his athletic and academic life, this defendant took advantage of a public health emergency to fraudulently obtain government benefits…My office will continue to vigorously prosecute individuals who used the recent pandemic for their own unlawful ends.”

Malik-Abdul McClain

The Justice Department reached a plea deal with Abdul-Malik, noting that he pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. He is expected to be sentenced on Sept. 16 and is facing a max of of 20 years in federal prison. The statement from the U.S. Attorney reportedly did not mention Munir or the other suspects.

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Authored by: Kay Johnson