4:53 pm - Sunday May 24, 4167

FACING 30-YEAR PRISON TERM FOR WIRE FRAUD: I worked as a Senior Special Assistant to a Nigerian Governor in Ogun State when I defraud United States government of $350,000 -ABIDEMI RUFAI, politician …My conscience no longer at peace, I am guilty of the crime, ready to fully cooperate, will explain how I shared the money *Suspect pledges to return stolen funds, houses, cars; lands, stocks, companies in Nigeria and U.S to federal authority without delay *CONFESSION to FBI: “I used stolen Social Security numbers of Americans and other personal data to file $350,763 in fake claims for pandemic unemployment benefits in 2020. I stole benefits from other states, having deceitfully taken another sum of $250,000 from other federal programmes. From 2017 to 2020, I filed fraudulent claims for $1.7 million in federal tax refunds, of which $90,877 was paid out to me” *“Abidemi Rufai has agreed to disclose all of his assets and to cooperate in US government efforts to recover on those assets. At this point we don’t know what kind of recovery will result”-U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Emily Langlie *BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Senior Investigative Editor

FACING 30-YEAR PRISON TERM FOR WIRE FRAUD:

I worked as a Senior Special Assistant to a Nigerian Governor in Ogun State when I defraud United States government of $350,000 -ABIDEMI RUFAI, politician

…My conscience is no longer at peace, I am guilty of the crime, ready to fully cooperate, will explain how I shared the money

*Suspect pledges to return stolen funds, houses, cars; lands, stocks, companies in Nigeria and U.S to federal authority without delay

*CONFESSION to FBI: “I used stolen Social Security numbers of Americans and other personal data to file $350,763 in fake claims for pandemic unemployment benefits in 2020. I stole benefits from other states, having deceitfully taken another sum of $250,000 from other federal programmes. From 2017 to 2020, I filed fraudulent claims for $1.7 million in federal tax refunds, of which $90,877 was paid out to me”

*“Abidemi Rufai has agreed to disclose all of his assets and to cooperate in US government efforts to recover on those assets. At this point we don’t know what kind of recovery will result”-U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Emily Langlie 

*BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Senior Investigative Editor

DAPO ABIODUN, a Nigerian politician is now singing ‘like a bird’ inside the jail cell in the United States and ready to confess to all his wire fraud atrocities as he agreed that he stole the sum of $350,000 from vulnerable Americans while he worked as a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State. Heads may roll as the suspect revealed he is fully ready to discuss how he shared the money he stole.

According to The Seattle Times, 45-year-old Rufai pleaded guilty on Tuesday in US District Court in Tacoma to charges that he used stolen Social Security numbers and other personal data to file $350,763 in fake claims for pandemic unemployment benefits in 2020.

The medium also quoted the US Attorney’s Office in Seattle as saying that Rufai pleaded guilty to stealing benefits from other states, as well as another $250,000 from other federal programmes.

From 2017 and 2020, Rufai filed fraudulent claims for $1.7 million in federal tax refunds, of which $90,877 was paid out.

Rufai has agreed to repay the stolen funds, though it wasn’t clear how he would make payments or whether his agreement meant he still had access to the stolen funds.

“He has agreed to disclose all of his assets and to cooperate in US government efforts to recover on those assets,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Emily Langlie said in an email Wednesday. “At this point we don’t know what kind of recovery will result.”

Rufai, who has been in custody since his May 2021 arrest at New York’s Kennedy International Airport as he was about to fly to Nigeria, was Abiodun’s aide. The governor had suspended him and called for thorough investigation into the matter.

This suspect reportedly said My conscience is no longer at peace, I am guilty of the crime, ready to fully cooperate, and will explain how I shared the money in Nigeria and the United States. I have promised to return stolen funds, houses, cars, lands, stocks, companies in Nigeria and U.S to federal authority without delay”.

Last August, a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, had ordered the interim forfeiture of the funds and properties traced to Rufai.

Justice Tijjani Ringim made the order sequel to an ex parte motion filed and argued by a counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ebuka Okongwu.

It was earlier reported that the US Department of Justice, District of Washington said Rufai used the pseudonym Sandy Tang and the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with the Employment Security Department for unemployment benefits last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The criminal complaint also said Rufai mailed some of the proceeds of his fraud to the Jamaica and New York addresses of his relatives with more than $288,000 deposits between March and August 2020. If convicted, Rufai risks 30 years in prison for wire fraud.

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