EXCLUSIVE: Nash speaks out about fraud indictment

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EXCLUSIVE: Nash speaks out about fraud indictment

Nash would have been UTEP women’s basketball’s senior leader on the court in 2017, instead, she finds herself in federal court.

Nash would have been UTEP women’s basketball’s senior leader on the court in 2017, instead, she finds herself in federal court.

File photo

Nash would have been UTEP women’s basketball’s senior leader on the court in 2017, instead, she finds herself in federal court.

File photo

File photo

Nash would have been UTEP women’s basketball’s senior leader on the court in 2017, instead, she finds herself in federal court.

Jason Green, Sports Editor

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On Monday, Jan. 30, former UTEP women’s basketball star Jenzel Nash, her fiancée Terrance Yelder and five others were taken into custody by federal agents.

A federal grand jury recently indicted former Nash, Yelder and the five on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and several counts of false statements on loan or credit applications.

The indictments state that the defendants conspired from July 31, 2013 to March 22, 2016 to defraud financial institutions across the country out of $237,000, without specifying who on the indictment did what action or received how much money.

According to Nash, this is what made her want to speak out the most.

“The media are making it seem like I just walked into a bank and got $20,000, when it was a car loan and a bike loan that are already paid off,” said Nash. “So, I didn’t do anything wrong other than working at Chubby’s.”

The Chubby’s that Nash is talking about is Chubby’s Bronx Deli, formerly at 2400 N. Oregon St., right outside the UTEP campus. The sandwich shop was a favorite of UTEP students and boosters, as well as the athletic department, who often served Chubby’s sandwiches at functions and to the media prior to athletic events.

Chubby’s Bronx Deli is closed now, and it’s last owners, according to paperwork filed with the city, were Quyet Bui, Gerald Marr and Ann Crowe; all names unfamiliar to anyone who has done business with Chubby’s in the past.

That is because the actual owner was the main person named in the grand jury indictment, Michael Annabi. Like the people who appear to have owned Chubby’s during its last year of existence, it appears that perhaps a lot of people around him may not have fully known him.

“Mikey (Annabi) always treated me like a little brother. He always asked me, did I want to go with him and his family on vacation. He always looked out for me when he could, maybe I didn’t have enough money for something I needed, he would give it to me,” said Terrance Yelder, who worked at Chubby’s along with Nash. “But, the only reason we were involved (in the indictment) is because we worked for him.”

Yelder said that he and Nash often felt like family when with Annabi. Nash and Yelder are the only two people named in the indictment who are not actually related to Annabi, according to Yelder.

Nash has not played for the UTEP women’s basketball team this season as a result of an unnamed violation of team rules. According to Nash, she was suspended when she began to be uncooperative with the investigation into her and her boyfriend’s alleged bank fraud.

“I was a witness up until November, when I got kicked off my team because I didn’t go to a third meeting with the FBI, so after that I became a suspect,” said Nash. “They wanted me to tell them things about Mikey (Annabi) that I do not know.”

All Nash does know is that she got two loans, one for a car and one for a motorcycle. According to Nash, they have both been paid off. Also according to Nash, Annabi’s name was not on either of the loans.

“No, just that I worked there,” was Nash’s response when asked if his name was used on the loan paperwork. “He (Annabi) wasn’t there either.”

UTEP women’s basketball head coach Keitha Adams has continued to offer verbal support for Nash, yet is unable to comment specifically on her situation. She stands by the team’s earlier statement that she was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules.

“I’m going to say my prayers for things to go well for Jenzel. I care about Jenzel. That’s probably more than what I’m supposed to say, but I’m just going to say my prayers and wish for the best,” said Adams upon the announcement of the indictment. “I’m not going to get into anything and I really can’t elaborate any more than that.”

Nash is officially off the basketball team at this point. She has already earned her degree in criminal justice and was working on her master’s in leadership studies. Her goal before all of this was to be a police detective. Yelder is worried about that goal now.

“She feels like her life is over as far as being a detective,” said Yelder. “Only thing we can do is keep God first and pray for the best.”