San Francisco, CALIF. — A Castro Valley resident has been charged with stealing people’s identity to receive more than $1 million in unemployment benefits meant to alleviate financial burden for people affected by COVID.
Idowu Hashim Shittu, 46, has been charged with three counts of fraud in a federal complaint.
The charge states that Shittu allegedly used personal information to obtain unemployment benefits originally meant to go towards others. He used the personal information of three Washington state residents to apply for benefits, totaling over $1 million overall.
The money was obtained from the state’s Employment Security Department that handles benefit requests through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Shittu was spotted at various ATMs in the Bay Area, withdrawing these illegally obtained funds. Shittu’s description was seen withdrawing the funds from ATMs in the Bay Area.
If convicted, Shittu faces up to 15 years in prison for each count against him. He may also have to repay the money he illegally obtained, as well as additional charges and penalties. His upcoming court date is Monday, January 31st, 2022.