African Gists

Gov. Abiodun’s Fmr aide, Abidemi Rufai, bags five years imprisonment for pandemic [email protected] in the U.S – Instablog9ja

Abidemi Rufai, a former aide to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has been sentenced to five years in prison for wire [email protected] and aggravated identity th€ft for his attempt to [email protected] nearly $2.4 million from the United States government, including approximately $500,000 in pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

The convict was wearing a $10,000 watch and $35,000 gold chain when he was arrested at JFK International Airport in New York on his way to Nigeria in May 2021, according to The Associated Press.

The 45-year-old resident of Lekki, Lagos, was sentenced on Monday, September 26, 2022, by a federal judge in Tacoma, Washington.

Rufai pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Washington, in May to wire [email protected] and aggravated identity th£ft charges, and was slammed with 36 months for wire [email protected] and 24 months for aggravated identity th€ft.

Judge Benjamin Settle, who issued the sentence on Monday, also ordered Rufai to pay more than $600,000 in restitution. Adding that the sentences will run consecutively at the U.S. correctional facilities in Fort Dix, New Jersey, or the Northeastern Regional.

“The motivation was greed, unrestrained greed, and a callousness towards those who have s#ffered,” the judge said.

According to U.S. Attorney Nick Brown, “Mr. Rufai was relentless in his scheme to use the [email protected] identities of Americans for [email protected]

He orchestrated ‘mystery shopper’ [email protected], business email compromise attempts, and filed fake tax returns to financially [email protected] individuals and businesses. But when [email protected] struck, so did Mr. Rufai.

Whether it was hurricane [email protected] relief, small business loans, or COVID unemployment benefits, he [email protected] aid that should have gone to [email protected] victims in the United States.”