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Alleged $350k Fraud: US Court Denies Ogun State Governor’s Aide Bail

Abidemi Rufai, a Senior Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has been denied bail by a federal magistrate in New York after he was arrested for allegedly committing $350,000 employment fraud in Washington.

We had earlier reported that the 42-year-old was arrested at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York while attempting to flee the country.

A statement released by the US Department of Justice alleged that Rufai used pseudo names like Sandy Tang and the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with Employment Security Department for unemployment benefits during the COVID19 pandemic last year.

Rufai made his initial appearance last Saturday in New York and he appeared for a detention hearing on Wednesday May 18, where he appealed to the judge to release him to the custody of his brother, Alaba Rufai, who is an attorney in New York.

His private attorney, Michael Barrows of Garden City, said Rufai’s brother however told the court he could not afford the $300,000 “surety” bond that he would have been required to post to ensure that Abidemi appeared for his trial.

As a result, Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes ordered Abidemi Rufai to be detained and taken to the Western District of Washington.

Rufai risks 30 years in prison if found guilty of wire fraud.