SEATTLE (AP) – A Nigerian man suspected in Washington state’s $650 million unemployment fraud was arrested at a New York City airport.
Abidemi Rufai appeared in federal court Saturday on charges that he used the identities of more than 100 Washington residents to steal more than $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington state Employment Security Department last year.
Rufai is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday.
His arrest comes almost a year after officials announced they were temporarily suspending unemployment benefits payments.
They had discovered that criminals used stolen Social Security numbers and other information to file bogus claims for federal and state unemployment benefits.