A Nigerian man named Bamidele Muraina has been sentenced to 70 months in prison over $2.6m fraud in the U.S.
35-year-old Bamidele, better known as Dele Ewe, was also ordered by a U.S. court to pay $561,125.62 in restitution.
His conspirator, Gabriel Kalembo, 33, of Zambian, was sentenced to 50 months in prison and ordered to pay $298,008.71 in restitution.
A statement released by the U.S Justice Department said, “Bamidele Muraina, a Nigerian national who hacked into tax preparation firms and filed fraudulent unemployment benefit claims and tax returns using stolen personally identifiable information, and Gabriel Kalembo, a previously convicted fraudster who laundered the fraudulent assets, have been sentenced to federal prison.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said: “These defendants stole funds from programs meant to assist American workers and families seeking to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners were essential to disrupting a sophisticated network of criminals and bringing their leaders to justice.”
Bamidele Muraina engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the Employment Security Department of Washington State (“ESD-WA”) by filing dozens of fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims in the names of identity theft victims who were not entitled to such benefits.