Global Upfront Newspapers
Cover Justice Life News

Abidemi Rufai, Ex-Ogun State Official Faces 32 Years In Prison As He Pleads Guilty In Serial U.S. Fraud

A former Nigerian government official arrested in connection with massive fraud against Washington State’s pandemic relief efforts plead guilty on Tuesday in federal court, prosecutors said.

Rufai faces up to 32 years in prison for wire fraud related to a presidentially declared disaster and aggravated identity theft.

Abidemi Rufai, 45, of Lekki, Nigeria, acknowledged in U.S. District Court in Tacoma that he used stolen identities to receive more than $350,000 in pandemic-related unemployment benefits from Washington State.

He also admitted earlier frauds: Since 2017, he had obtained identifying information for more than 20,000 Americans, submitted $2 million in claims for disaster relief and other federal benefits, and received more than $600,000, prosecutors said.

Rufai was the Special Assistant to the Governor of Nigeria’s Ogun State when he was arrested at New York’s JFK Airport on his way to Nigeria in May 2021.

The case against him helped illustrate how Washington’s Employment Security Department had succumbed to widespread fraud — paying out some $650 million in bogus claims before recovering about $380 million — as it tried to distribute benefits designed to help people financially weather the pandemic.

Rufai employed a feature of Gmail, Google’s free email service, that let him use a single email account, altered by the addition of periods to the address, to file multiple unemployment claims in Washington and elsewhere using stolen Social Security numbers and other personal data.

But because he cooperated and pleaded guilty, Prosecutors agreed to recommend less than six years in prison, Seattle U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a news release.

Rufai also agreed to pay restitution to the agencies he defrauded, though his ability to do that remained unclear.

Advertize With Us

See Also

South East Governors directs Igbos to obey all subsisting orders on COVID-19 prevention

Global Upfront

Obi’s Running Mate Baba-Ahmed Raise Alarm On Social Media Impostors, Blames “Nigerian Retrogressive Status Quo Politicians”

Global Upfront

Prosper Oluwafunmibi Babalola: University Of Ibadan 400-level Veterinary Medicine Hyperpolyglot Student Who Speaks 24 Languages

Global Upfront

NAF Airstrikes Eliminate Banditry Kingpins, Halilu Buzu, Alaji Gana In Northwest Nigeria

Global Upfront

At UN summit, Buhari outlines key measures to reverse biodiversity loss in Nigeria

Global Upfront

26.5m Nigerian children experiencing high water vulnerability – UNICEF

Global Upfront

Row Between Emir of Kano, Air Peace deepens As Emirate Gives Airline 72 Hours to Apologise Or…

Global Upfront

Terrorists Converging At Karshi Hills Put Abuja On Edge With Fears Of Invasion Of Schools, Estates, Abductions

Global Upfront

NIMASA, National Institute of Transport Technology Sign MoU On Maritime Safety, Security Training

Global Upfront

Tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Onu rtd By Emmanuel Ogebe

Global Upfront

This website uses Cookies to improve User experience. We assume this is OK...If not, please opt-out! Accept Read More