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Bidemi Rufai, Governor Abiodun aide, is ordered by a U.S. court to pay $604,260 and forfeit assets

Abidemi Rufai and Dapo Abiodun

The forfeiture of $604,260, the profits of wire fraud committed by suspended special assistant to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, Bidemi Rufai, has been ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The forfeiture paperwork, dated August 17, reviewed by Peoples Gazette, read, “The defendant’s interest in the above-identified quantity of money is entirely and finally forfeited, in its entirety, to the United States.”

The forfeiture order, which was signed by U.S. district judge Benjamin Settle, stated: “In order to satisfy this sum of money, in whole or in part, the United States may seek to alter this order, at any time, to include replacement property having a value not to exceed this sum of money.”

For his part in the significant COVID-19-related fraud on the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD), Mr. Rufai negotiated a plea agreement with the American government and pleaded guilty to five charges of wire fraud in order to receive a favorable ruling.

U.S. security personnel detained the Ogun governor’s aide in May 2021 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to depart the nation to Nigeria via Amsterdam.

The U.S. authorities might have had problems extraditing Mr. Rufai to face justice if he had been able to reach Nigeria. In a letter to Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes in the Eastern District of New York, Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorma voiced concerns that, should he be granted bail, the APC regime might obstruct his extradition.

After presenting a dubious surety, Nurse Nekpen Soyemi, who the Bank of America had once suspected of being involved in a business email compromise fraud, Mr. Rufai’s chances of being granted bail further diminished.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, he is said to have illegally obtained over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department by exploiting the names of over 100 citizens of Washington.

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