Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Judge rejects Hushpuppi’s handwritten letter for non-compliance with district rules

In the handwritten letter, Hushpuppi noted his humble beginnings as a salesman, apologised for his crimes, and vowed to use his personal funds to pay his victims.

• September 19, 2022
Hushpuppi 2
Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas [Credit: Instagram]

United States Federal Judge Otis. D Wright has rejected the letter written by popular Internet fraudster Ramon “Hushpuppi” Abbas over non-compliance with court rules.

On Monday, court documents filed before the United States District Court for the Central District Of California struck out Mr Abbas’s attempt to push for a lighter sentence. 

“ORDER by Judge Otis D. Wright, II: the following document(s) be STRICKEN for failure to comply with the Local Rules, General Order and/or the Courts Case Management Order: Sentencing Letter[86] filed by Defendant Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, for the following reasons: Letters ARE NOT ALLOWED for filing pursuant to local rule 83-2.11. The Court reminds counsel to review ALL local rules before e-filing in corrected documents. (lc) Modified on 9/19/2022 (lc),” Court filings seen by Peoples Gazette said.

Mr Abbas had written personally to presiding judge Otis D. Wright and asserted that he only made $300,000 from his involvement in the crimes he has been tried for. 

In the handwritten letter, Mr Abbas noted his humble beginnings as a salesman, apologised to the federal judge for his crimes, and declared that he would use his personal funds to pay the victims. 

“Your honour, I totally recognise the seriousness of my offence, and no amount of sorry can write my wrong in the hearts of the victims, and this is why I have decided to use my personal money to offset all of the entire $1,700,000 restitution even though I only benefited a fraction of $300,000,” Mr Abbas wrote. 

Lead prosecutor Khaldoun Shobaki argued that Mr Abbas should also be asked to pay $1.7 million in restitution, $500,000 in fines and $100 in administrative fees.

Louis Shapiro, Mr Abbas’s lawyer, admonished the prosecutors in a filing made on Sunday for deploying heartless and underhand tactics in their quest to land Mr Abbas in prison. Mr Shapiro said his client was poorly treated by the prosecutors and describes the government’s sentencing request as “unreasonable”. 

Mr Abbas argued that the U.S. is ”trying to sensationalise Mr Abbas into something that he is not”.

Mr Wright had last week Thursday rejected Mr Abbas’ plea for a continuance, but Mr Shapiro said the prosecutors were trying to persuade the judge into sentencing their client even though some issues were outstanding. 

Mr Abbas will now be sentenced on November 3, 2022, based on the court’s own motion, after considering Mr Abbas’ desperate push from last week for a delay.

Mr Abbas has been in custody since his arrest in Dubai and transfer to the United States in June 2020. In July 2021, Mr Abbas pleaded guilty to multimillion-dollar fraud charges as part of a plea bargain he entered with the U.S. authorities. 

Intelligence agencies recorded multiple crimes, including money laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, criminal impersonating, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft committed outside the United Arab Emirates.

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