Nigerian politician Abidemi Rufai bags 5 -year jail term in America over $600,000 wire fraud

The District Court in Western Tacoma in Washington, United States of America (USA), has sentenced Nigerian politician and suspended aide of Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Abidemi Rufai, to five years’ imprisonment for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

 Penpushing reports, the 45 year old convict who pleaded guilty to the charges in May, was said to have succeeded in defrauding 12 US agencies of $600,000 paid out into bank accounts controlled by him, with the stolen identities, he attempted to steal nearly $2.4 million from the United States government, including approximately $500,000 in pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

The United States Department of Justice in a statement announced the sentencing of Rufai on Monday, by the trial judge, Justice Benjamin H. Settle, who was quoted saying that the convict motivation was greed, unrestrained greed, and a callousness towards those who have suffered.

Penpushing further reports that the statement said based on his plea agreement with the prosecution, Rufai agreed to pay full restitution of $604,260 to the defrauded agencies, but the Department of Justice’s said he has not fully cooperated with efforts to identify and forfeit assets that could be used for restitution.

The convict, it is recalled has been in custody since his arrest at New York’s JFK airport in May 2021, admitted using stolen identities to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars in pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

Penpushing also reports that, he admitted a long history of using stolen identities to defraud United States of America (USA) disaster programs, including aid for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and file fraudulent America tax returns.

The statement said, of the 12 agencies allegedly defrauded by Rufai, the Washington State Employment Security Department was said to have been hardest hit with $350,763 paid out by the agency as fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims to accounts controlled by the convict.

Penpushing reports that, the prosecutors explained that evidence to be produced at the hearing shows that Rufai participated in the submission of fraudulent claims seeking in excess of $2 million in federally-funded unemployment assistance.

The convict who was eyeing elective position in 2023, was said to have also submitted claims to the IRS seeking more than 675 refunds totalling more than $1.7 million, and submitted at least 19 fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications.”

Penpushing further reports that, the prosecution, disclosed that he submitted 49 fraudulent disaster claims to FEMA, and personally obtained proceeds from his wire fraud scheme, while in May 26, 2021, a grand jury approved an indictment charging him with 15 offences.

The charges filed at the United States of America (USA) District Court for Western Washington at Tacoma, comprise conspiracy to commit wire fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

Penpushing also reports that, it is recalled that Rufai, after his initial denial of the charges, admitted his guilt in the plea agreement filed in the court in May, the trial was postponed on different occasions while he remains in detention

FOOTNOTE: You want to share story with us? You want to advertise with us? You need publicity for product, or service, or   event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348073463653 or email [email protected]


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button