Manti Te’o Loses Life Savings In Hawaiian Bridge Scheme

Jan 21, 2013

Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has reportedly lost his life savings in an investment fund for a company looking to build a bridge between Hawaii and San Francisco.

According to the South Bend Tribune, the 2012 Heisman trophy contender was duped last year by an Internet scammer who claimed his company would earn billions of dollars by building a 2,400-mile freeway over the Pacific Ocean, and was looking for investors to support the project.

The company never in fact existed, and the scammer made off with the investments and is now believed to be hiding somewhere in the Caribbean.

"This guy sent me an email," Te'o explains, "and he said, 'Hey - if you give me $50,000 my company will build a bridge from Hawaii to the mainland.'

"And I thought, 'Wow, that would be great. I hate having to fly back home. That would be so nice if I could drive, you know?'

"And this guy, he promised I would get my money back, plus one million dollars in profit. And I was like 'Whoa, that's amazing. A new bridge and a million dollars!' "

Play Action Fake

Te'o says just minutes after receiving the email, he signed over all the money Notre Dame boosters have paid him over the years.

"That was six months ago," Te'o says. "And I haven't heard anything from him since. I keep typing 'Hawaii bridge san francisco' into the Google. But I don't see any news about it. I'm worried that maybe I might not get my money back."

The bridge scam is not the first time Te'o has been tricked on the Internet. He recently admitted to having a fake online relationship that lasted for several years and ended when the imaginary woman contracted leukemia and died.

However, Te'o says despite his bad experiences with Internet scams, he still believes he can find opportunities online.

"Even though this one didn't work out, I'm still looking for new investments. This prince from Nigeria says he can double my money. As soon as I get my first NFL check I'm gonna send a few million his way."

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