Fidelis I. Agbapuruonwu came to America from Nigeria in 1993 to study for the Catholic priesthood, but he felt a lower calling and became a lawyer. In 2001, he became a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans scholar. Peter Soros is the late brother of George Soros.
By that time, Fidelis I. Agbapuruonwu had already become an associate at Mayer Brown in Washington, DC. The firm is the 17th largest firm in the world with annual revenues of $1.2 billion with 24 offices and more than 1,500 lawyers.
NBC's affiliate in Washington reported his annual salary was $1.5 million.
But the station reported that at the same time, the Agbapuruonwu collected more than $100,000 in welfare-style benefits from 2010 to 2016. That works out to more than $14,000 a year in benefits for the seven year-period.
From NBC's affiliate:
Fidelis’ LinkedIn page claims he works for the D.C. firm of Mayer Brown, but today the firm said he no longer works there. Court officials believe Fidelis, a Nigerian immigrant, has “fled the country and is somewhere in Africa.”
The director of the pre-school the Agbapuruonwu’s children once attended said she is shocked by the allegations against family.
“I have to believe it’s not true,” she said.
Helen Agbapuruonwu’s defense lawyer declined to comment.
Police say they hope this case is a deterrent to anyone who thinks about trying to cheat the system.
“We hope it sends a message that if you are taking public assistance it’s truly intended for those in need, and we’re committed to ensuring those who need the most help receive it,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.Does anyone believe she will do jail time?
But this arrest and charge -- and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty -- raise questions.
Will the police extend their problem to his colleagues at the law firm? Did the partners know? Were they not suspicious when he tried to pass off government cheese as brie?
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