Federal Bureau of Investigation has revealed that Abidemi Rufai, the suspended Senior Special Assistant to the Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, has been a wished particular person since 2017 for submitting 652 fraudulent tax returns within the United States.
According to a courtroom doc, the FBI mentioned Rufai has been doing fraudulent actions for years.
The courtroom additionally heard how the Nigerian politician started his fraud schemes with “hurricane relief in 2017, filing false FEMA claims,” PeoplesGazette stories.
He was accused of submitting 652 fraudulent tax returns, trolling the web on the lookout for U.S. programmes.
“He is a fraudster. And he does this while he is hiding behind a keyboard a thousand miles away. This is someone that the IRS has been trying to identify since 2017,” mentioned the U.S. official.
“We have now identified him, we have an overwhelming case against him, as the defence has 652, and we have him in custody.”
Rufai, who served because the Deputy Director-General of the Dapo Abiodun Campaign Organisation within the final governorship election within the state, was arrested in May 2021 on the JFK Airport in New York, the United States of America, on a legal grievance of wire fraud for his scheme to steal over $350,000 in unemployment advantages from the Washington State Employment Security Department, the performing US Attorney, Tessa M. Gorman, introduced.
He made his preliminary look in courtroom on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in New York.
“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 had mentioned.
The legal grievance alleges that Rufai used the stolen identities of greater than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with the ESD for pandemic-related unemployment advantages.
He was alleged to have additionally filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York and Pennsylvania. He used variations of a single electronic mail handle in a way supposed to evade automated detection by fraud methods.
Using this observe, Rufai allegedly made it seem that every declare was linked with a unique electronic mail account.
The US Department of Justice acknowledged on its web site that Rufai precipitated the fraud proceeds to be paid out to on-line fee accounts comparable to ‘Green Dot’ accounts or wired to financial institution accounts managed by ‘cash mules’. Some of the proceeds have been then mailed to the Jamaica, New York handle of Rufai’s relative.
Law enforcement decided that greater than $288,000 was deposited into an American checking account managed by Rufai between March and August 2020.
“Greed is a motivator. Unfortunately, the greed alleged to this defendant affects all taxpayers,” mentioned Donald Voiret, Special Agent in control of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Seattle.
“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.