Gov. Abiodun Suspends Special Assistant, Rufai Over Financial Fraud - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Gov. Abiodun Suspends Special Assistant, Rufai Over Financial Fraud

ABEOKUTA - The Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has received the very disturbing news of the arrest of one of his political appointees, Mr. Abidemi Rufai in New York over alleged unemployment benefits fraud in the United States.

The Encounter News reports that, Abidemi Rufai suspected in Washington state’s $650 million unemployment fraud was arrested Friday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport by federal agents as he allegedly attempted to leave the country.

Abidemi Rufai, of Lekki, Nigeria, appeared in federal court Saturday on charges that he used the identities of more than 100 Washington residents to steal more than $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington state Employment Security Department (ESD) during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

“This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of ESD fraud,” said Tessa Gorman, acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, in a statement on Monday.

The federal complaint also provides a detailed glimpse into the scale of the pandemic-related fraud as well as the methods – some of them surprisingly unsophisticated – fraudsters used to pilfer unemployment systems in Washington and other states.

Rufai, 42, is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday. The case will be prosecuted in federal court in Tacoma.

“I want to thank our partners in law enforcement for their continued efforts to hold criminals accountable for their attacks on our unemployment insurance system,” said ESD Acting Commissioner Cami Feek in a statement Monday.

But Governor Abiodun in a press statement issued in Abeokuta on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said in view of the gravity of these allegations, the Governor has ordered the immediate suspension of the accused appointee.

Somorin stressed further that, the Governor has restated his commitment to an open, transparent, accountable and morally upright administration and will not condone any act bordering on criminality by anyone .

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