The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed the arrest of Abidemi Rufai, a Senior Special Assistant to the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, over wire fraud worth more than $350,000
The Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman said Rufai stole the money in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department, adding that he is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday.
Gorman said the Department of Justice had tracked down the criminals who stole funds designated for pandemic relief since the first fraud reports in April 2020.
The criminal complaint alleged that Abidemi Rufai used the stolen identities of over 100 residents of Washington to file fraudulent claims with ESD for pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
EveryEvery.ng gathered that over $288,000 was deposited into an American bank account controlled by Rufai between March and August 2020.
Meanwhile, the Special Agent in Charge FBI Seattle, Donald Voiret, has described greed as a powerful motivator, adding that the greed alleged to Rufai affects all taxpayers. However, wire fraud is punishable by up to thirty years.
You will recall that the United States Secret Service had in May 2020 revealed that it traced a well-orchestrated COVID-19-related fraud targeting multiple American states back to Nigeria.
The US Secret Service stated that the fraudsters are exploring the pandemic to commit massive fraud by targeting unemployment insurance programmes.