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Coronavirus

Nigerian IT Worker Charged in Multistate Unemployment Fraud

SEATTLE — A Nigerian information technology worker has been indicted on federal wire fraud and identity theft charges after authorities said he and his co-conspirators filed false claims for pandemic-related unemployment benefits in 17 states.

According to an indictment unsealed Thursday in Seattle, Chukwuemeka Onyegbula was linked to at least 253 fraudulent filings for unemployment benefits.

The states paid out nearly $290,000.

Onyegbula has been detained in Nigeria, but prospects for his extradition to the U.S. were unclear.

Court documents did not list an attorney who might comment on his behalf.

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