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Alleged con artist arrested in South Africa for soccer scam
Sonia Sunger, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Sunday, May 18, 2008 4:30PM MDT
A man accused of cheating a local soccer team out of $79,000 dollars was arrested by police in Cape Town, South Africa according to an article in the Sunday World.
The newspaper published an article stating Bernd Wulffen was arrested by police in Cape Town and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
Dozens of local families say they were conned out of thousands of dollars by Wulffen after they were promised their children would participate in a German soccer exchange.
"It still gives us some closure, but not a lot, I'd still like our money back," said 14-year-old Joel Moore a member of the Scottish United soccer team that payed Wulffen for a soccer exhange in Germany.
The Sunday World reports that Wulffen appeared on the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) list and that he is believed to have an accomplice in Mpumalanga, South Africa, where he had set up his International Sports and Academic Exchange office.
"He's been doing some very unpleasant things to quite a number of people," said Malcolm McKenzie who used to play on the same soccer team as Wulffen.
Wulffen organized a trip to Germany for members of Edmonton's Scottish United soccer team, consisting of players under the age of 14, but their trip was cancelled 12 days before their scheduled departure and their money was never refunded.
Twenty-eight people, including coaches and players are out about $2,500.
In April Wulffen told CTV News the Scottish United team would get their money back once he returned to the United States at the end of the month. Wulffen is still believed to be in South Africa.
The Team Alberta U-18 handball team also came forward to CTV News claiming Wulffen had cheated them. The team said they were forced to pay an extra $10,000 for a trip to Neuss, Germany for unexpected transportation and meal costs.
The coach of the handball team, Mike Nahmiash, said Wulfen promised them a trip which included flights, transportation and meals.
Wulffen claims the handball team was not cheated.
"I don't understand. ...They did have the hotel, they did have breakfast, they did have a meal like every day," he said.
It is not known when Wulffen will return to North America.
With files from Erin Isfeld