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Abiodun’s aide: U.S court postpones trial to 2022, as prosecutor submits 97,000-page evidence

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Judge Benjamin Settle of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in the United States has suspended the fraud trial of Abidemi Rufai, a former aide to Ogun State Governor by five months till 2022.

Rufai was indicted for alleged conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

He was arrested at the JFK airport in New York on May 14 over alleged $350,000 COVID-19 unemployment fraud in the United States.

According to the Acting US Attorney Tessa M. Gorman, Rufai used the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with the Employment Security Department (ESD) for pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

Attorney Gorman said further that Rufai filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania, using variations of a single email address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems.

The trial, earlier scheduled to commence on August 31, has now been postponed to February 1, 2022.

Earlier, the prosecutor had submitted a 97,000-page material at the U.S. District Court on July 26.

The agreed application filed on August 3, 2021, apparently based its assessment of the complexity of the case on the volume and nature of the evidence filed by the prosecution.

The charge reads in part: “On July 26, 2021, the government produced approximately 97,000 pages of material.

“In addition, the government is in the process of executing two additional electronic search warrants.

“The discovery includes electronic documents in a variety of formats, adding that much of the material “contains personal identifying information or sensitive financial information.”

Rufai was arraigned before the court on June 25, 2021 where he pleaded not guilty to all counts.

The court had then scheduled trial for August 31, 2021 and set a pretrial motions deadline of July 23, 2021.

In the meantime, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has suspended Abidemi Rufai following his indictment as he prepares to face the full wrath of the United States judiciary.

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