Nigerian fraudster Hushpuppi jailed 11 years in US



Nigerian fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi has been sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in the United State for fraud.

The popular Instagram celebrity was jailed on Friday by the United States Central District Court in California for fraud and money laundering.

The Nigerian fraudster was arrested in Dubai, United Arabs Emirates, over an extensive fraud scheme that has robbed victims of their money in the U.S, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and other places.

He was accused of 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 Premier League club.

Until his arrest by the Dubai Police in June 2020 and subsequent extradition to the United States, Hushpuppi  posted pictures and videos of his lavish spending on exotic cars, watches, designer clothes, bags from expensive brands like Gucci, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton and of himself boarding helicopters, with celebrities, footballers, and Nigerian politicians or while on charter jets.

 He claimed to be a real estate developer. He also holds a passport from St Kitts and Nevis.

On the night his apartment at the Palazzo Versace was raided in an operation code-named Fox Hunt 2, Abbas was arrested alongside eleven others in six simultaneous raids, detectives seized more than 150 million dirham (about $40 million) in cash, 13 luxury cars worth Dh 25 million ($7M), 21 laptops, 47 smartphones, 15 memory storage devices, 5 external hard drives and 800,000 emails of potential victims alongside suitcases full of cash.

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 The arrest was part of an FBI investigation that indicted him as being a ‘key player’ in a transnational cybercrime network that provided “safe havens for stolen money around the world.”

Upon his arrival in the United States on July 3 2020 he was accused of conspiring to launder ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’.

In a final appeal to Judge Otis Wright ahead of his scheduled sentencing on September 19, 2022, Hushpuppi wrote a personal letter to the court narrating his source of wealth, criminal adventure and regrets.

He apologised to his family members for bringing them shame while commending the FBI for doing a thorough job while bringing him to justice. 

On September 19, 2022, Judge Otis Wright delayed Hushpuppi’s sentencing to November 3, 2022. The Judge had initially rejected the plea of the defendant’s motion for a delay of judgement. 

He has been finally sentenced to 11 years in jail on November 3, 2022 by the United States Central District Court in California.

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