The United States of America (USA) Government has arrested two Nigerians, Olushola Afolabi and Olugbeminiyi Aderibigbe over alleged wire fraud and other offences involving $25,000 in unemployment benefits.
Penpushing reports that, they were accused of conspiring with others to defraud the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the United States government through fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.
The allegations have it that the duo alleged co-conspirators used stolen identities to file unemployment insurance claims and transferred millions of dollars in unemployment benefits into bank accounts controlled by them.
Penpushing further reports that, the American government said in the indictment filed against them already approved by a grand jury and filed at a District Court in Northern Alabama, said the members of the conspiracy used the funds in those bank accounts purchased money orders or withdrew cash at locations across the Northern District of Alabama and elsewhere.
“Using the funds in those bank accounts, members of the conspiracy purchased money orders or withdrew cash at locations across the Northern District of Alabama and elsewhere,” the indictment reads
Penpushing also reports that, the indictment signed by an unnamed representative of the grand jury and an Assistant America. Attorney, Jonathan Harrington has it that, the alleged fraud was perpetrated from October 2020 to June 29, 2021
The document disclosed that, of the millions of dollars allegedly transferred by the conspirators, about $25,000 was directly linked to Messrs Afolabi and Aderibigbe.
’The transfers of about $18,000 between December 7, 2020, and February 24, 2021, were linked to Mr Afolabi, and the balance of about $7,000 was allegedly transferred by Mr Aderibigbe between December 29, 2020, and January 8, 2021’.
Penpushing reports that the American government said the two defendants entered into a conspiracy with many unknown others with the objective to steal unemployment insurance benefits.
“As part of the conspiracy, unknown members of the conspiracy would and did file for state and federal unemployment insurance benefits through the Illinois Department of Employment Security website using stolen or otherwise fraudulent identities,” the document stated.
‘Unknown members of the conspiracy would and did establish several Green Dot bank accounts into which the fraudulently obtained state and federal unemployment benefits would be wired on a periodic basis’.
‘The conspirators including, Messrs Afolabi and Aderibigbe, were then said to have travelled to Alabama and elsewhere for the purpose of using Green Dot access device cards to purchase money orders or withdraw cash at Walmart and other retail locations in the Northern District of Alabama and elsewhere’, the statement said.
“It was part of the scheme and artifice that Defendants AFOLABI and ADERIBIGBE used fraudulently obtained Green Dot cards loaded with fraudulently obtained state and federal unemployment insurance funds to purchase money orders or withdraw cash at Walmart locations in the Northern District of Alabama and elsewhere,” the document added.
Penpushing further reports that in the indictment, the grand jury posited that if the defendants are found guilty of the said offences, they stand to forfeit to the United States any personal property used or intended to be used to commit the offences, according to the United States Code, Section 1029 (a) (2).
“Indictment, the defendants, OLUSHOLA ADEWOLE AFOLABI and OLUGBEMINIYI ADERIBIGBE, shall forfeit to the United States any and all property constituting, or derived from, proceeds the defendants obtained directly or indirectly, as a result of the commission of said offences, including but not limited to a sum of money in United States currency representing the amount of proceeds traceable to the commission of said offenses.
“Additionally, upon conviction of any offences information of Title18, United States Code, Section 1029 (a) (2) outlined in counts 13 through 18 of this Indictment, the defendants, OLUSHOLA ADEWOLE AFOLABI and OLUGBEMINIYI ADERIBIGBE, shall forfeit to the United States any personal property used or intended to be used to commit the offences.
Penpushing also reports that, as at the time of filing this report, a preliminary arraignment of the defendants had held before, Justice Gray Borden, on July 27, while both accused both pleaded guilty and would likely be tried before a district judge at a later time.
The magistrate judge at the July 27 proceedings, granted a $5,000 bail to each of them, while a defence lawyers Robin Robertson and Courteney Murtha were also appointed for Afolabi and Aderibigbe respectively.
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