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U.S. Court Orders Forfeiture Of Gov. Abiodun’s Suspended Aide, Bidemi Rufai’s Assets, $604,260 Fraud Proceeds

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United States of America district court for the Western District of Washington has ordered the forfeiture of assets belonging to Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun’s suspended Special Assistant, Bidemi Rufai.

The U.S. court also ordered the forfeiture of the $604,260 proceeds of wire fraud done by Rufai.

A report by Peoples Gazette quoted the U.S. court order issued on August 17 this year as stating that the “defendant’s interest in the above-identified sum of money is fully and finally forfeited, in its entirety, to the United States”.

The forfeiture order signed by U.S. district judge, Benjamin Settle added, “In order to satisfy this sum of money, in whole or in part, the United States may move to amend this order, at any time, to include substitute property having a value not to exceed this sum of money.”

Rufai had pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud as he admitted his involvement in the massive COVID-19-related fraud on the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD).

The suspended governor’s SA entered a plea agreement with the American government to obtain a favourable judgment.

The fraudulent governor’s aide was arrested in May 2021 by U.S. security officials in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to flee the country to Nigeria through Amsterdam.

Peoples Gazette further reported that the acting U.S. Attorney, Tessa Gorma, had in a letter to the Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York, Ramon Reyes, expressed fears that Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government might frustrate his extradition process if he was granted bail.

It was gathered that Rufai’s chances of obtaining bail became slimmer after he presented a questionable surety, Nekpen Soyemi, a nurse once suspected of a business email compromise scam by the Bank of America.

Rufai was accused of using the identities of over 100 Washington residents to fraudulently receive more than $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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