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$350,000 Fraud: Abidemi Rufai Faults US Government’s Fresh Fraud Allegation

$350,000 Fraud: Abidemi Rufai Faults US Government’s Fresh Fraud Allegation

Mr Abidemi Rufai, a former aide of Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun who is facing $350,000 fraud charges in the United States, has discredited US authorities’ fresh allegation of his involvement in a fraudulent surety scheme. Mr Rufai’s lawyer Michael Barrows had on May 21 presented a registered nurse Nekpen Soyemi, whose family comes from Nigeria, as surety after Rufai’s brother said he could not stand as surety.

But prosecutors said Soyemi was a “suspect in an investigation into an email impersonation scheme.

On Saturday, the US Department of Justice accused Rufai of “knowingly” participating “in a fraudulent surety scheme” therefore misleading the court in his desperate bid to get a surety for the bail earlier granted him by a magistrate’s court.

Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorma, in documents filed at a United States Courthouse, in Tacoma, Washington, on June 23, alleged that Rufai misled the court by presenting before the court a surety he barely knew as his friend.

The government said it got a transcript of a recorded call between Rufai and his brother, discussing the issue on May 25, four days after a hearing on his detention. According to the government, Rufai and his brother addressed Soyemi as “lady”.

Denying the allegations, Rufai’s lawyer Mr Barrows said, “A review of the government’s most recent memorandum, purporting to depict Mr Rufai’s informal and innocuous conversation with his brother – where they each refer to the surety as ‘lady’ – as evidence of a “fraudulent surety scheme” is both self-serving and unsupported by the transcripts themselves.

He added, “The government’s further claim that Mr Rufai’s statement to his brother that ‘the money is available’ somehow indicates that Mr Rufai ‘has significant assets which he is willing to use however he can to secure his own release’ is equally unsupported by the record, yet offered as fact.

Rufai was arrested on May 14 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on his way to Nigeria.

Ogun governor Mr Abiodun has suspended him pending the conclusion of the trial.

Source: Igbere TV
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