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Nigerian imprisoned in US for stealing from the COVID-19 relief fund

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In the United States, a Nigerian was found guilty of defrauding individuals, businesses, and the government through fraudulent schemes.

Bamidele Muraina hacked into preparation firms and filed fraudulent unemployment benefit claims, and tax returns using stolen personally identifiable information.

Nigerian imprisoned in US for stealing from the COVID-19 relief fund

Nigerian imprisoned in US for stealing from the -19 relief fund

He filed more than 275 fraudulent individual income returns using stolen identities to ask for refunds from the IRS exceeding $2.6 million from 2018 through 2020.

The convict also used stolen information to submit false claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Washington.

The 35-year-old exploited a federal -19 pandemic relief program to receive more than $280,000 from the State of Washington over a one-week span in May 2020.



Muraina, a native of Oyo State, recruited Gabriel Kalembo, a previously convicted fraudster, to launder the fraudulent assets.

“The conspirators not only stole from the government but also victimised individuals and private businesses in this case,” IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, James E. Dorsey, said.

U.S. District Judge, William M. Ray II, sentenced Muraina to five years and 10 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

The convict was also ordered to pay $561,125.62 in restitution.

Kalembo was also sentenced to four years and two months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $298,008.71 in restitution.

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