Another Nigerian IT Specialist , Chukwuemeka Arrested For “Unemployment Fraud” In US

A Nigerian data expertise employee has been indicted on federal wire fraud and id theft costs after authorities mentioned he and his co-conspirators filed false claims for pandemic-related unemployment advantages in 17 states.

Chukwuemeka Onyegbula, utilizing the identify “Phillip Carter,” was linked to at the least 253 fraudulent filings for unemployment advantages, in line with an indictment unsealed Thursday in Seattle, AP stories.

Another Nigerian IT Specialist , Chukwuemeka Arrested For "Unemployment Fraud" In US 2

Onyegbula has been detained in Nigeria, however prospects for his extradition to the U.S. had been unclear. Onyegbula works for Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited, in line with the Seattle U.S. Attorney’s Office. Court paperwork didn’t checklist an legal professional who may touch upon his behalf, AP stories.

Washington, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin paid out almost $290,000 on claims associated to the case. Additionally, the federal Small Business Administration paid out $54,000 in COVID-19 financial catastrophe claims filed by Onyegbula and his co-conspirators, prosecutors mentioned in a report by A.P.

Fraudulent claims for pandemic-related advantages severely victimized Washington state. According to state officers, it possible paid out greater than $647 million in such fraudulent claims, although $370 million was recovered.

Onyegbula is the second Nigerian nationwide charged with such fraud in U.S. District Court for western Washington. Abidemi Rufai, 42, a suspended Nigerian authorities official, has been accused of submitting $350,000 in fraudulent claims in Washington and different states, with $288,000 making it right into a checking account he managed. According to federal prosecutors, he additionally sought to bilk the Internal Revenue Service of almost $1.6 million.

Rufai was arrested on May 14 as he tried to journey from New York to Nigeria. A federal courtroom in New York ordered him launched on bond pending trial, however federal prosecutors in western Washington have been looking for to ensure he stays in custody, saying he poses a extreme flight threat, is facile with faux identities, and that he is unlikely ever to be extradited if he makes it again to Nigeria.

A listening to is ready for Friday to find out whether or not Rufai could be launched pending trial. In a courtroom submitting Wednesday, assistant U.S. attorneys mentioned {that a} recorded dialog between Rufai and his brother revealed that Rufai didn’t know a lady who had supplied to behave as his custodian ought to he be launched.

The recorded dialog additionally advised that Rufai had considerably extra money than he led the courtroom to consider, prosecutors mentioned.

In a response filed Thursday, one in all Rufai’s attorneys, Michael C. Barrows, known as the federal government’s studying of the dialog “an absolute fabrication.”

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Another Nigerian IT Specialist , Chukwuemeka Arrested For "Unemployment Fraud" In US

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