$350k Fraud: Suspended Aide Of Ogun Governor Gets Five-Year Jail Term  

Written by on September 27, 2022

Abidemi Rufai, the suspended aide of Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has been sentenced to five years in prison for fraud.

After Rufai was arrested at New York’s JFK Airport on his way to Nigeria in May 2021, he admitted using stolen identities to receive thousands of dollars in pandemic-related unemployment benefits a year after.

He was said to have admitted to having obtained identifying information for more than 20,000 Americans, submitting $2 million in claims for disaster relief and other federal benefits, and received more than $600,000 since 2017.

According to the US authorities, the largest amount of fraud was committed against the Washington state employment security department, which paid out $350,763 in fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims to accounts controlled by Rufai.

Rufai was also said to have submitted fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims in at least 17 other states including Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania.

In her argument, the Assistant United States Attorney stated that Rufai’s scam hurt actual people who needed assistance and asked for a nearly six-year prison sentence.

In his ruling on Monday, US district judge Benjamin H. Settle blamed Rufai’s action on greed and callousness.

On his part, US attorney, Nick Brown, said Rufai was relentless in his scheme to use the stolen identities of Americans for fraud.

“He orchestrated ‘mystery shopper’ scams, and business email compromise attempts, and filed fake tax returns to financially harm individuals and businesses. Brown said.

However, a statement by the US department of justice, 45-year-old Rufai indicated that Rufai “has agreed to pay full restitution of $604,260 to the defrauded agencies”.

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