PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A man pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Tacoma, Washington after fraudulently applying for more than $2 million in pandemic and other emergency relief since 2017, according to the United States Department of Justice

45-year-old Abidemi Rufai of Lekki, Nigeria pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft after authorities said he used stolen identities to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID-19 unemployment benefits.

Authorities noted Rufai has been in custody since his May 2021 arrest in New York. Officials said at the time of his arrest, he served as the Special Assistant Governor of Nigeria’s Ogun State.

According to court documents, Rufai used personal information of more than 20,000 Americans to submit more than $2 million in federal relief claims. Authorities said agencies paid out more than $600,000.

The largest amount of fraud was against the Washington State Employment Security Department which gave out $350,763 in fraudulent unemployment claims to Rufai’s accounts. Authorities said he also submitted claims in at least 17 other states.

Officials noted between April and June of 2020, he received more than $10,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Relief Loans from the Small Business Administration.

The DOJ also said he tried to get more than $1.7 million in IRS tax refunds after submitting 675 claims. The IRS paid $90,877 of the claims.

Outside of pandemic relief, he also submitted relief claims related to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in October 2017. He was given $6,500 for the fraudulent claims.

Authorities said Rufai agreed to pay full restitution to the agencies and his sentencing is scheduled for August 15, 2022.