N144m Fraud: Ogun Governor’s Aide Faces 5 Years Imprisonment After Pleading Guilty To Defrauding US Residents

A Special Assistant to the Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, Abidemi Rufai, has pleaded guilty to defrauding employees of the Washington State Employment Security Department, United States, to the tune of $350,000 (N144,585,000).

Prosecutors are recommending 71 months sentencing for him but that depends on the discretion of the U.S. District Court in Tacoma where he was arraigned.

We earlier reported that Rufai was arrested at the New York airport on May 2021 by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), following a criminal complaint by about 100 defrauded US residents.

The FBI said on its website, “The criminal complaint alleges that Rufai used the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with ESD for pandemic-related unemployment benefits. Rufai also filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania.
“Rufai used variations of a single e-mail address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems. By using this practice, Rufai made it appear that each claim was connected to a different email account. OGUN”

In a press release by the US Department of Justice, Rufai admitted to having been part of the team that “obtained personal identifying information of more than 20,000 Americans to submit fraudulent claims for more than $2 million in federally funded payments since 2017.”

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