Atlanta Metro man accused of money laundering in connection with unemployment benefit fraud COVID-19 | USAO-NDGA

ATLANA – Oluwagbemiga Otufale is charged on federal charges of conspiracy and money laundering. Otufale was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 21, 2022

“Money launderers function as financiers of criminal organizations, allowing the victimization of our communities while hiding behind a shield of anonymity built through a maze of aliases, bank accounts and business transactions,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “We will continue to bring complicated money laundering to court, especially criminals who have used the pandemic to steal from those in need.

“It’s discouraging to see what some people will do to take advantage of people in need during a national and global crisis,” said Kerry Farley, a special agent with the FBI in Atlanta. “No matter how complicated or complicated the fraud scheme is, the FBI and our partners will work to uncover it and bring those responsible to justice.

“An important mission of the Office of the Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud related to unemployment benefit programs. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations, “said Matthew Broadhurst, Special Agent, Atlanta Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General.

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: The Coronavirus Aid, Assistance and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) created a temporary federal program that provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits for these unemployed as a result of the pandemic and includes provision for the provision of temporary benefits to persons who have exhausted their right to regular benefits or are otherwise ineligible. This temporary federal program is administered by state employment agencies.

Oluwagbemiga Otufale is said to have laundered money obtained from fraudulent unemployment claims filed with state employment agencies in Washington, Illinois and Massachusetts. These claims were filed with the help of stolen personal information of over a hundred people. It is also alleged that Otufale laundered proceeds from a business email compromise scheme targeting two businesses in Georgia. In addition, it is alleged that Otufale created a number of aliases and false business entities to open financial accounts in which he deposited fraudulent income.

Oluwagbemiga Otufale, known as Joseph Perone, known as Kelvin Benjamin, known as Abraham Young, 44, from Riverdale, Georgia, who was indicted before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Elizabeth Macbeth was accused of plotting money laundering and money laundering as a result of these activities. The public is reminded that the indictment contains only charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and the burden of the government will be to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the process.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General.

Assistant Attorney General Sarah E. Clapman and Tracy King are prosecuting the case.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Anti-Fraud Task Force to manage the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across the government to step up efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The working group is stepping up its efforts to investigate and prosecute the most guilty local and international criminals and assists the agencies in charge of administering fraud prevention assistance programs by, inter alia, expanding and incorporating existing coordination, identification and identification mechanisms. of resources and techniques for detecting fraudsters and their schemes, as well as sharing and using information and insights gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Pandemic response, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is part of the Georgia Unemployment Task Force. The working group consists of federal and state agencies throughout Georgia that are dedicated to combating COVID-related unemployment insurance fraud.

Anyone with information on allegations of attempted fraud related to COVID-19 can report this by calling the Justice Department’s National Disaster Fraud Center (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF’s web complaint form at: https: // www. .justice.gov/ disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

For additional information, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at [email protected] or (404) 581-6016. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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