Man pleads guilty to EDD fraud in Maryland

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One of three Maryland men accused of defrauding the California Department of Employment Development of more than $1.5 million last year has pleaded guilty. KCRA 3 first reported the scam in Hyattsville, Maryland in June 2021. According to the court order, that’s when the documents, Quasim Wawolabi Adeyinka, Ayodeji Jonathan Sangode and Olamide Yusuf Bakare were arrested at an apartment complex in St. George’s County, Maryland. The three men allegedly applied for unemployment benefits using stolen credentials in multiple states. California’s EDD paid out the most of the three. Federal investigators followed the men’s withdrawals and used security camera footage from Bank of America ATMs in Maryland to show the men withdrawing funds from debit cards sent from California. On Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento, Sangod pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Odeyinka is expected to appear in court in the coming days. The calls come weeks after reports that the U.S. attorney in Sacramento had joined a federal pandemic fraud task force. The EDD issues unemployment benefits, but the money is controlled by the US Department of Labor. This case was part of one of the worst frauds in US history: unemployment funds were paid to the EDD on fraudulent accounts. It’s a scam that was detailed in KCRA’s award-winning documentary, Easy Money: Scams, Luck and Failure. An independent analysis found that the amount of money paid out by the EDD to fraudulent accounts could be as high as $32. billions of dollars.

One of three Maryland men accused of defrauding the California Department of Employment Development out of more than $1.5 million last year has pleaded guilty.

KCRA 3 first reported fraud in Hyattsville, Maryland in June 2021. That’s when, according to court documents, Quasim Wawolabi Adeyinka, Ayodeji Jonathan Sangode and Olamide Yusuf Bakare were arrested at an apartment complex in St. George’s County, Maryland. The three men allegedly filed unemployment claims using stolen identities in multiple states.

California’s EDD paid the most of the three.

Federal investigators tracked the men’s withdrawals and used security camera footage from Bank of America ATMs in Maryland to show the men withdrawing funds from debit cards sent from California.

On Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento, Sangode pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Odeyinka is expected to appear in court in the coming days.

The calls come weeks after reports that the U.S. attorney in Sacramento had joined a federal pandemic fraud task force. The EDD issues unemployment funds, but the money is overseen by the US Department of Labor.

The case was part of one of the worst frauds in U.S. history: unemployment benefits were paid by the EDD to fraudulent accounts. It’s a scam that was detailed in a KCRA documentary titled Easy Money: Fraud, Luck and Failure.

An independent analysis found that the amount of money paid out by the EDD to fraudulent accounts could be as high as $32. billions of dollars.

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