ATM Cameras Caught Three Nigerians In Alleged $1.4 Unemployment Fraud

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How ATM cameras caught three Nigerians in alleged $1.4 unemployment fraud in America In what appears an endless loop of culpability, tens of Nigerians have been jailed or are facing prosecution in the United States in connection with pandemic unemployment benefits fraud. The latest are three compatriots whose indictments were recently unveiled in a California court by US prosecutors, who allege that the trio stole more than $1.4 million in jobless benefits from the US states of Arizona, California, North Carolina, and Maryland. The men—Quazeem Owolabi Adeyinka, 20; Ayodeji Jonathan Sangode, 22; and Olamide Yusuf Bakare—filed for unemployment benefits more than 200 times from the four states, all using two addresses in Hyattsville, Maryland, documents say. Agents have determined that at least Adeyinka and Sangode are currently the residents of one of the addresses, which has been another location of criminal activity including unemployment fraud for much of 2020 and 2021. Bakare, in a separate case in 2019, had pled guilty to identity fraud. The 26-page indictment seen by Nigeria Abroad says the Nigerians also filed for fraudulent unemployment claims in the states of Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. Unlike the other four states, these states do not necessarily use Bank of America (BofA) to disperse their Unemployment Insurance (UI) funds and thus their benefit payouts would not be reflected in the BofA data provided to the investigation. BofA records show that 175 prepaid cards worth more than $1.4 million total—$158,000 of which came from Maryland—were sent to the accused’s addresses. The funds were depleted through purchases, transfers, and ATM cash withdrawals conducted in California, Florida, and Maryland, according to prosecutors. ATM withdrawals alone amounted to over $989,000. According to BofA’s footage, Sangode’s Hyundai (MD license plate 3DS7400) was surveilled at a BofA drive-through ATM located at 3413 Kenilworth Ave, Hyattsville, Maryland. The driver of the vehicle resembles Sangode based on a comparison using his MD driver’s license photo, the indictment says.

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