Abidemi Rufai, who served as the deputy director-general of the Dapo Abiodun Campaign Organisation in the last governorship election in Ogun state, was arrested at the JFK Airport on Friday in New York, United States of America.
This is in connection with a criminal complaint of wire fraud for his scheme to steal over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department, Tessa M. Gorwan stated.
Rufai, who made his first appearance in court on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in New York is scheduled for detention.
“Since the first fraud reports to our office in April 2020, we have worked diligently with a federal law enforcement team to track down the criminals who stole funds designated for pandemic relief.
This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of the ESD fraud,” Gorman said.
It was alleged by the criminal content that Rufai used the stolen identities of over 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with the ESD for pandemic-related unemployment gains.
He was also alleged to have filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York and Pennsylvania. He used series of single email address in a way intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems.
The Department of Justice US stated on its website that Rufai caused the fraud proceeds to be paid to online payment accounts such as ‘Green Dot’ accounts or transferred to bank accounts controlled by ‘money mules’. Some of the proceeds were then mailed to New York address of Rufai’s relative.
It was determined by the law enforcement that more over $288,000 was paid into an American bank account which was controlled and owned by Rufai between March and August 2020.
“The FBI and our partners will not stand idly by while individuals attempt to defraud programmes meant to assist American workers and families suffering the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
Following the unfortunate incidence the Ogun state Governor has ordered for the immediate suspension of Abidemi Rufai.
The statement reads: “The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has received the alarming news of the arrest of one of his political appointees, Mr Abidemi Rufai, in New York over alleged unemployment benefits fraud in the United States.
“Because of the gravity of these allegations, the governor has ordered the immediate suspension of the accused appointee. We will not condone any act bordering on criminality by anyone.”
Also, the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State has described Abidemi Rufai’s arrest as a huge embarrassment to the party and as such people of questionable characters exist within the political system.
Those with questionable characters should be kept away from our system. Unfortunately, the governor of Ogun State has chosen somebody of dubious character, and it is an embarrassment to the entire state he said.
Source: Sahara Reporters.