Abidemi Rufai, a former adviser to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, pled guilty to fraud and aggravated identity theft in the United States.
Abidemi was detained on May 14, 2021, at New York's JFK airport, and he pleaded guilty in Tacoma District Court, according to AP News.
The 45-year-old acknowledged to receiving more over $350,000 in pandemic-related jobless benefits from Washington state by using stolen identities.
Prosecutors claimed he had obtained identifying information for more than 20,000 Americans since 2017, submitted $2 million in disaster relief and other federal benefits claims, and pocketed more than $600,000 as a result.
According to the plea bargain, Abidemi Rufai illegally stole the personal identifying information of more than 20,000 Americans between 2017 and 2018 in order to file more than $2 million in claims for federally funded benefits under a number of relief programs. More than $600,000 was paid out by the different authorities involved.
Rufai faces up to 32 years in jail for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a presidentially proclaimed disaster.
A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, had ordered the interim confiscation of monies and properties linked to the suspended assistant in August.
Justice Tijjani Ringim issued the ruling in response to an ex parte motion submitted and contested by Ebuka Okongwu, an attorney for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.