Ogun Governor’s Aide, Abidemi Rufai pleads guilty to COVID-19 fraud in U.S.

Written by on May 4, 2022

A 45-year-old resident of Lekki in Lagos, Mr Abidemi Rufai has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in the United States.

Rufai who has been in custody since he was apprehended at New York’s JFK airport in May 2021, was the Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, at the time of his arrest.

Days after the report of his arrest emerged, Governor Abiodun suspended Rufai from office to answer for the charges against him.

According to the plea agreement, since 2017, Rufai unlawfully obtained the personal identifying information of more than 20,000 Americans to submit more than 2 million dollars in claims for federally funded benefits under a variety of relief programmes while the various agencies involved paid out more than 600,000 dollars.

Rufai was also said to have filed 24,500 dollars in false claims and was paid on 13 claims, totaling 6,500 dollars. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Seth Wilkinson and Cindy Chang of the Western District of Washington.

Seun Fakorede

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