Thursday, December 9, 2021

Internet Fraud: Hushpuppi pleads guilty; faces 20 years in jail, $1.7 million restitution to victims

The 37-year-old was arrested in Dubai in June 2020 and subsequently extradited to the United States where he has been facing charges of corruption in Central California.

• July 28, 2021
Ramon Abbas, widely known as Hushpuppi [Photo credit: BBC]

Ramon Abbas, widely known as Hushpupi, has pleaded guilty to multimillion-dollar fraud charges as part of a plea bargain he entered with the U.S. authorities, court documents seen by Peoples Gazette said.

The 37-year-old was arrested in Dubai in June 2020 and subsequently extradited to the United States where he has been facing charges of corruption in Central California.

Court documents said Mr Abbas admitted to laundering money and also orchestrated fraudulent attacks on a Premier League club, an American law firm, a UK law firm and other schemes as well as carefully recruiting North Korean state sponsored hackers to collaborate his fraudulent schemes.

The fraud was part of a business email compromise scheme that targeted several businesses across the world, with many of the victims being from the U.S.

The Instagram celebrity exhibited his luxurious designer lifestyle on social media claiming  to be a real estate developer.

He reportedly stole about $40 million from a U.S. law firm.

He nearly conned an unnamed Premier League club of $124 million.

To avoid a lengthy trial, Mr Abbas entered a plea deal with the U.S. prosecutors in Central California on July 4, 2021 and it was sealed on July 27, 2021. 

As part of the deal, Mr Abbas now faces up to 20 years in jail when he is due to be sentenced in the coming weeks.

He will also pay about $1.7 million in restitution to some of his victims.

Mr Abbas may also be made to forfeit between $9.5 million and $25 million as part of the deal, court filings said.

Several parts of the documents were redacted to protect confidential excerpts of the plea arrangement.

Mr Abbas has become the second Nigerian of public infamy to be sentenced by the U.S. over the past year.

In October last year, Obinwanne Okeke, also known as Invictus Obi, was sentenced to jail after being found guilty of fraud. 

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