Abidemi Rufai, a former aide to Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has pleaded guilty to fraud and aggravated identity theft, in the United States.

Abidemi was arrested at the New York’s JFK airport on May 14, 2021, and he pleaded guilty at a District Court in Tacoma, AP News reports.

The 45-year-old admitted to using stolen identities to receive more than $350,000 in pandemic-related unemployment benefits from Washington state.

He also admitted earlier [email protected]: Since 2017, he had obtained identifying information for more than 20,000 Americans, submitted $2 million in claims for [email protected] relief and other federal benefits, and received more than $600,000, prosecutors said.

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

Rufai faces up to 32 years in prison for wire fraud related to a presidentially declared disaster and aggravated identity theft.

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

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.

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