The United States government has slammed a heavyweight of evidence against the suspended aide of Ogun State Governor in the person of Abidemi Rufai.
Naija News recalls Rufai was arrested May 14, 2021, at JFK Airport in New York, after he was indicted for conspiracy, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Acting U.S. Attorney, Tessa M. Gorman, said Rufai was indicted for his scheme to steal over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department.
It has now been gathered that the prosecutor submitted 97,000-page materials at the U.S. District for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma, on July 26 against the accused person.
Rufai is now charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, and five counts of aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleges that Rufai used the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with ESD for pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
Other indictments include that “Rufai also filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Rufai used variations of a single e-mail address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems. By using this practice, Rufai made it appear that each claim was connected with a different email account.
The agreed application filed on August 3, 2021, apparently based its assessment of the complexity of the case on the volume and nature of the evidence filed by the prosecution.
“On July 26, 2021, the government produced approximately 97,000 pages of material.
“In addition, the government is in the process of executing two additional electronic search warrants.
“The discovery includes electronic documents in a variety of formats,” the document stated in part.
It added much of the material “contains personal identifying information or sensitive financial information.”
Rufai was arraigned before the court on June 25, 2021, where he pleaded not guilty to all counts.
The court then scheduled trial for August 31, 2021 and set a pretrial motions deadline of July 23, 2021.
Naija News understands conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud is punishable by up to thirty years in prison when the offense relates to benefits paid in connection with a presidentially declared disaster or emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year sentence to run consecutive to any sentence imposed on the other counts of conviction.