Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Nigerian Man Abidemi Rufai Arrested In The US For $650 Million Unemployment Fraud + Other Crimes

Advertisement

Advertisement - Mobile In-Article

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Nigerian Man Abidemi Rufai Arrested In The US For $650 Million Unemployment Fraud + Other Crimes

A Nigerian man (Allegedly to be the aide of a serving Nigerian governor)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 42, 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 during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.


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

He was represented by an assistant federal public defender at Saturday’s hearing.
His arrest comes almost a year to the day after ESD officials announced they were temporarily suspending unemployment benefit payments after discovering that criminals had used stolen Social Security numbers and other personal information to file bogus claims for federal and state unemployment benefits.

Rufai, who used the alias Sandy Tang, is also suspected of defrauding unemployment programs in Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Federal officials acknowledged that Rufai’s presence in the United States probably was unusual in the unemployment fraud scheme. Many of the fraudulent claims that hit the ESD were likely filed from outside the United States, according to the complaint.

The federal complaint also offers a detailed explanation of how Rufai — and presumably others — allegedly bypassed security systems at the ESD using a simple feature of Google’s free Gmail service.

Federal investigators initially identified Rufai through a single Gmail account he used to file 102 claims for pandemic-related unemployment benefits from the ESD, as well as claims at programs in other states, according to the complaint.

Thanks to a feature of Gmail, account holders can create dozens of additional email addresses simply adding one or more periods to the original address. Because the Gmail system doesn’t recognize periods, any emails sent to those so-called dot variant addresses are all routed to the inbox of the original Gmail address.


In Rufai’s case, his original email address — Sandytangy58@gmail.com — was expanded to include dot variants such as san.dyta.ngy58@gmail.com and sa.ndyt.a.ngy58@gmail.com, according to the federal complaint.

Rufai used the dot variant addresses to create multiple accounts in the Washington state system that authenticates online users of government services, the complaint alleges. Rufai was then able to file for unemployment benefits with the ESD using stolen personal identities of real Washington residents, the complaint said.

Because emails sent by the agency to the dot variants all went to Rufai’s Gmail account, Rufai could easily monitor all ESD correspondence regarding each claim, according to the complaint.


In January, a federal judge issued a warrant to Google, which operates Gmail, allowing investigators to search Rufai’s Gmail account, according to the complaint. Investigators found more than 1,000 emails from the ESD, including emails the agency sent allowing new claimants to activate their accounts.

Investigators also found around 100 emails from other states’ unemployment systems and from Green Dot, an online payment system reportedly used for stolen unemployment benefits, the complaint said.

The email and banking tactics allegedly used by Rufai appear to link him with the Nigerian crime organization known as Scattered Canary, according to an expert who has studied the group.


Rufai’s alleged schemes extended well beyond unemployment fraud, according to the complaint. Investigators found “substantial evidence” in Rufai’s Gmail account “that the user was actively engaged in stealing and retaining the personal identifying information of American citizens,” the complaint alleges.

Investigators found numerous emails with file attachments containing thousands of bank and credit card numbers, birth dates and other personal identifying information, images of driver’s licenses, and “a very large volume” of tax returns of U.S. taxpayers, the complaint alleges.

Investigators determined that Rufai arrived in the United States on Feb. 19, 2020, and left on Aug. 9, 2020, “and was therefore apparently present in the United States during the period of the fraud,” according to the complaint.

Bank records show that between March 3 and Aug. 2, 2020, $288,825 was deposited from multiple sources, including Green Dot, into a Citibank checking account in Rufai’s name, according to the complaint and federal officials. Additional funds were transferred by the ESD to the account of a second individual, identified in the complaint as C.S., who reportedly filed unemployment claims using Rufai’s Gmail account. That individual also filed claims for unemployment benefits in other states.

According to federal officials, Rufai had reportedly returned to the United States at some point after his August departure. Federal officials became aware that Rufai intended to leave the United States via JFK Airport in New York on Friday evening and obtained an arrest warrant.

According to the U.S. attorney in Seattle, the case involves wire fraud, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison in crimes involving benefits “paid in connection to a presidentially declared disaster or emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, with the assistance of multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, as well as the cooperation of the ESD.

According to a recent report by the state auditor’s office, fraudsters filed tens of thousands of bogus claims worth $646.8 million. (Not all of the impostor claims were paid; many were stopped by the ESD before funds went out.) Of that, the state has recovered $370 million, according to the audit.

from seattletimes.com




*Oga you know say your hand no clean, wetin carry you enter America again? ah ah!!!

32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. And this one go follow shout say naija no good

      Delete
    2. I pray this is not Ruffy (Ruffy Elele),the Abidemi is confusing. I saw him once with beards.

      If nah him, he spent millions of naira to campaign for Dapo and the SSA was to compensate him. We don't know him as Abidemi on d Street but Ruffy,I pray he is not d one.

      Delete
    3. He is the one

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. @Sandra, this isn't greed. It is theft! He is a thief!

      Delete
  3. Oju ole re. Glorified yahoo man

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is not glorified oh, he is a yahoo boy plain and simple. Haha!!! These one will now come to be disturbing the whole neighbourhood in lekki with tear rubber suvs, na wa. Boda ole.

      Delete
  4. The juju man promised him nothing dey happen. Oga send your people to collect ya money from that baba wet no sabi work

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oga had to go back to access his funds. I am glad he was caught. He and his accomplices should be brought to justice. I am sure he will cut a deal and give the names of others involved in the scam. They should all be brought to justice.

    ReplyDelete
  6. IDIOT! Depriving genuine affected people from help.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Evildoers.
    Super happy that the law is catching up with them fraudulent elements.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Governor don sack am sef.

    The guy is going to be away for a very long time!
    Crime doesn't pay.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This might be one of the people opening his mouth online to write Nigeria is bad, government is corrupt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not he is a politician working in this government so he is writing things like "this government is sent from heaven"; "Stay home and develop Nigeria"; "There are no killer herdsmen"; "I started an invisible poultry with two and a half feathers and now I have 2 million layers in seven different locations".

      Delete
    2. Anony 15:48, you know them!
      Thanks for writing my mind!

      Delete
    3. Amin 15:48: absolutely right in your description.

      Delete
    4. Two and half feathers不不不不不不
      This blog eh!!!

      Delete
    5. 2 and A half feathers keh?

      Hahaaaha

      Delete
  10. Baby Malu Over18 May 2021 at 15:42

    To think he was upgraded to an SSA to a governor from being a Yahoo boy. Simple he got caught because his cup was full from the atrocities he's been committing all the while,big shame

    ReplyDelete
  11. Stella, you dey ask wetin carry am enter America again?
    Answer; greed and trust in the charms they make to defraud the "white man"
    I live here o. And this is the stock in trade of most Nigerians. Tax filing time is
    their boom time. When you hear that they are "Abroad and making it", this is the "it" o.
    I have long made it a habit of having nothing to do with most of them here when they
    seek to come close because ones they nab them, you the hardworking one comes under
    investigation. And it can be nasty 仄‍♀️仄‍♀️仄‍♀️仄‍♀️仄‍♀️仄‍♀️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kai, them don kwarupt Naija pinish soteee, them don dey export am?

      Delete
    2. Pure greed my dear. I live in the states too. I hear lots of stories and there are frequent arrests of our fraudulent brothers but I only know one person personally, we did masters together but he's in jail now. Just impatience. When people are not satisfied with $50k, 70k, 100k a year which is far better than you are earning in Naija oh, they want it in million dollars. Well, a thief is a thief, no matter how much they earn or have, once there's an opportunity to steal, they will take it. For the honest, no matter how broke they are, they won't steal. Didn't a Nig police man return some money the other day?? Honesty!

      Stella, he entered cos probably the people he deceived and stole from have been praying. Plus the devil that led you to steal will lead you to make foolish decisions to complete the work. Imagine 30years locked up and deported afterwards for your foolishness. Let us pray for wisdom abeg

      Delete
  12. People should know that these guys steal. If you work hard for your money, you would not spend it the way these guys do. That, is a dead give away.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It is foolish, greedy, motherfuckers like this that keep giving Nigerians a bad name. They tell you the reason they steal back home is because of hunger. Ok, now you have the opportunity to travel out and make an honest living, why are you still stealing? A thief is a thief, there is no excuse. Gosh i hate this specie of Nigerians. Shoutout to all hardworking Nigerians making an honest living. Those that are not always on the lookout for how to defraud their neighbor, because it appears this is the stock-in-trade of so many Nigerians. We are the change we seek. Raise your kids to have integrity. This is becoming very shameful and disheartening. I live in the states too and i avoid these type of Nigerians like a plague. What is money that we lose our souls for it? We need to do better, seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It is foolish, greedy, motherfuckers like this that keep giving Nigerians a bad name. They tell you the reason they steal back home is because of hunger. Ok, now you have the opportunity to travel out and make an honest living, why are you still stealing? A thief is a thief, there is no excuse. Gosh i hate this specie of Nigerians. Shoutout to all hardworking Nigerians making an honest living. Those that are not always on the lookout for how to defraud their neighbor, because it appears this is the stock-in-trade of so many Nigerians. We are the change we seek. Raise your kids to have integrity. This is becoming very shameful and disheartening. I live in the states too and i avoid these type of Nigerians like a plague. What is money that we lose our souls for it? We need to do better, seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oga, I just want to say...,. Thunder fire you!!!
    People like you are the reason innocent Nigerians are stopped from going out of this country for greener pastures .

    ReplyDelete

Disclaimer: Comments And Opinions On Any Part Of This Website Are Opinions Of The Blog Commenters Or Anonymous Persons And They Do Not Represent The Opinion Of StellaDimokoKorkus.com

Pictures and culled stories posted on this site are given credit and if a story is yours but credited to the wrong source,Please contact Stelladimokokorkus.com and corrections will be made..

If you have a complaint or a story,Please Contact StellaDimokoKorkus.com Via

Sdimokokorkus@gmail.com
Mobile Phone +4915210724141