The District Court in Western Tacoma, Washington, United States has sentenced Abidemi Rufai; a former aide to the Ogun state governor, Dapo Abiodun to five years in prison for fraud.
In a statement on Monday, the US Department of Justice announced the sentencing of Mr. Rufai who was found guilty of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
It said with the stolen identities, Abidemi attempted to steal nearly $2.4 million from the United States government, including approximately $500,000 in pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
He pleaded guilty to the charges in May, and admitted to have defrauded 12 US agencies of $600,000.
“The motivation was greed, unrestrained greed, and callousness towards those who have suffered,” the statement quoted the trial judge, Benjamin H. Settle.
The Assistant United States Attorney argued that Rufai’s scam hurt actual people who needed assistance and asked for a nearly six-year prison sentence.
Based on his plea agreement with the prosecution, Mr. Rufai agreed to pay full restitution of $604,260 to the defrauded agencies.
However, the Department of Justice’s statement said he “has not fully cooperated with efforts to identify and forfeit assets that could be used for restitution.”
Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu