TD Bank has been ordered to turn over proceeds of a wire fraud committed by their customer, Abidemi Rufai, a convicted serial fraudster currently serving a 5-year jail term at a U.S. correctional facility.
Rufai was a close associate of Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, and had been nabbed for stealing pandemic-relief benefits from the American government and its citizens in May 2021.
The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma ordered the bank to turn over the money running into thousands of dollars, specifically $604,460, court documents obtained by Peoples Gazette showed.
The Court observed that despite a September 2022 judgement that demanded the stolen funds be returned to nine states and three departments as restitution, the said sum of over $604,000 was yet to be paid.
The observation led the U.S. government to file an Application for Writ of Continuing Garnishment against Mr. Rufai and the bank where the funds were being held.
“You are hereby notified that a garnishment action is being taken by the United States of America, which has a Judgment from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, in United States of America v. Abidemi Rufai, No. 3:21-CR-5186-1 (September 26, 2022), in the amount of $604,460.00, consisting of $604,260.00 in Restitution, and $200.00 in a Special Assessment. A balance of $604,460.00 remains outstanding as of December 6, 2022,” the application filed on 3 January, stated.
“The United States believes that the Garnishee owes or will owe money or property to the DefendanVJudgment Debtor, or is in possession, custody or control of property of the Defendant/Judgment Debtor, and the Defendant/Judgment Debtor holds a substantial nonexempt interest in the money or property.
“It is hereby ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall issue a Writ of Continuing Garnishment against TD Bank, N.A., whose address is TD Bank, N.A., Attn: Legal Department, 1701 Route 70 East, East, 1st Floor, Mailstop NJ5-011-103, Cherry Hill, NJ,08003,” a proposed copy of the judgement seen by The Gazette stated.
Some of the departments to be paid restitution by Mr. Rufai include Washington Employment Security Department ($350,763), Arkansas Division of Workforce Services ($10,166), Maine Department of Labor ($8,205), Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency ($44,216), among others.
A U.S.-based Washington Post report had roped Ogun state governor as a major financier of Mr Rufai’s extravagant lifestyle. The publication reported that Mr. Abiodun paid Mr. Rufai $2,000 as official salary for being his senior special assistant and a $50,000 cut meant for “introducing people” to him.
But Mr. Abiodun, through his press secretary, Kunle Somorin, debunked the report and said “The governor had no deal with Rufai on any transaction.”