Abidemi Rufai Moyedele, born 6 November 1978 is a Human Resource expert and a Senior Special Assistant to the Ogun state Governor, Dapo Abiodun. He had his first degree at the University of Lagos and M.Sc degree in Public Administration from the same university.
Rufai was arrested on Friday, 14th May at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for his involvement in Washington state’s $650 million unemployment fraud.
According to the US Department of Justice, Rufai was accused of using an alias, Sandy Tang to steal $350,000 using over 100 Washington residents identities to file claims with the Employment Security Department to get pandemic related unemployment benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic last year. He also replicated this fraudulent act in Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.
He used different email address to request for relief fund which was paid into online payment accounts like “Green Dot” accounts or bank accounts controlled by “money mules”. While some of the proceeds was mailed to Jamaica and New York addresses of his relative, over $228,000 of the funds were trailed to an American bank account controlled by Rufai.
“Since the first fraud reports to our office in April 2020, we have worked diligently with a federal law enforcement team to track down the criminals who stole funds designated for pandemic relief,” said US Attorney, Tessa M. Gorman. “This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of ESD fraud.”
Special Agent in Charge FBI Seattle, Donald Voiret stated that Greed is a powerful motivator and the FBI alongside its patners would not tolerate individuals attempt to defraud programs meant to assist American workers and families suffering the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rafiu made his initial appearance last Saturday in New York and scheduled for a detention hearing today. If he is found guilty of the fraud, he will be imprison for 30 years.
Moreover, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has suspend his aide, Rufai over his actions and to enable him answer the charges levelled against him.
In 2019, Abidemi Rufai contested to represent Ijebu North/Ijebu East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency at the National Assembly under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) but lost to Adekoya Adesegun of PDP. He was appointed the Special Assistant to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun in 2019.