Rufai, aide to Ogun Gov, pleads guilty to fraud in 18 US states

Rufai, aide to Ogun Gov, pleads guilty to fraud in 18 US states

Abidemi Rufai, a former aide to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodum, on Tuesday, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft by using stolen identities to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars in pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

This was during proceedings in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma as announced by U.S. Attorney Nick Brown via a report published by the Department of Justice.

Abidemi Rufai, 45, has been in custody since his arrest at New York’s JFK airport in May 2021.

At the time of his arrest, Rufai was the Special Assistant to the Governor of Ogun State.

According to the plea bargain, Rufai illegally stole the personal identifying information of more than 20,000 Americans in order to submit more than $2 million in claims for federally funded benefits under a number of relief programs between 2017 and 2018. More than $600,000 was paid out by the different authorities involved.

The Washington State Employment Security Department was the victim of the most fraud, with $350,763 in bogus pandemic unemployment claims sent to accounts controlled by Rufai.

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