17th March, 2022
For the incarcerated Instagram influencer and scammer, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, old habits die hard.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has filed a new case against him requesting his arrest warrant for carrying another cyber heist in jail.
FBI filed the new case against Hushpuppi over conspiracy to engage in money laundering of more than $400,000 while being imprisoned in the U.S.
The new evidence was submitted to the United States District Court of California on March 16th, 2022, in a document stating that Hushpuppi allegedly engaged in the acquisition and washing of Economic Impact Payment debit cards obtained unlawfully from stolen data of US individuals and residents.
According to the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the US government provides financial assistance to U.S. citizens who relocate abroad. Debit cards are a method of receiving Economic Impact Payments for qualifying US residents.
To file for and get Economic Impact Payments debit cards, hackers used data from documents produced in court. These EIP cards are sold to other cybercriminals in underground marketplaces.
United States authorities said that although prisoners have limited access to a telephone, video, internet and computer use because of their right to privacy in a court filing, like the rest of the detainees, Hushpuppi was granted access to the computer network as well.
However, between January 28 and March 4, 2022, security authorities at a federal prison in the United States noticed that Hushpuppi was using the internet more often.
They secured an order to record Hushpuppi’s actions after learning that he had been detained for internet-related offences and that the warrant would be used against him.
His activities were tracked over the course of seven days on a system built up just for him.
An underground cybercriminal marketplace was discovered to be selling EIP debit cards to Hushpuppi.
A total of 58 EIP debit cards, worth $429,800, were purchased on the site by Hushpuppi while he was being filmed and laundered the money through one AJ.
Hushpuppi is facing criminal charges in the United States for conspiracy to launder money obtained from business email compromise frauds and other scams, including schemes that defrauded a US law firm of about $40 million, illegally transferred $14.7 million from a foreign financial institution, and targeted to steal $124 million from an English football club until his arrest by the Dubai Police in June 2020 and his extradition to the United States.