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U.S. appeals court dismisses Hushpuppi’s petition to review 11-year prison sentence

The denial for sentence appeal came days before Nigerians were dismayed by a viral video showing someone believed to be Mr Abbas holding a feast in prison.

• January 29, 2024
Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas [Credit: Instagram]

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles has dismissed Ramon “Hushpuppi” Abbas’s appeal to review and ostensibly reduce his 11-year sentence, citing his sterling behaviour during his stay in jail.

Mr Abbas, convicted in 2022 for money laundering and a series of online scams in tens of millions of dollars, raised the motion to appeal the sentence after reappraising his chances of success, Peoples Gazette learnt. 

The motion was filed in November 2022, two weeks after Judge Otis Wright sent him to jail.  

The convict had enrolled in prison educational courses and also taken an active role in cleaning prison facilities, becoming one of the correctional facility’s top toilet cleaners, in a bid to earn a lighter sentence.

Still, the appellate judges remained implacable in their decision to deny his appeal.

The judgment was made on January 19. It was announced by Molly Dwyer, the court’s clerk, on behalf of the appellate judges.

It was not immediately clear whether he would file a fresh case to keep the hopes of his early release alive since his lawyers, John Iweanoge and Louis Shapiro, had already pulled out prior to the dismissal.

The denial for sentence appeal came days before Nigerians were dismayed by a viral video that seemingly showed someone believed to be Mr Abbas holding a feast with others inside what was reported as his detention facility at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Although The Gazette did not report the video, several online commenters said the dominant voice matched the convicted fraudster’s.

Fort Dix also did not return a request for comment clarifying whether or not it is standard protocol for inmates to throw parties with friends behind bars, film such events and then circulate the video on social media.

Similarly, Mr Abbas’s ally, Olalekan Jacob Ponle alias Mr Woodberry, convicted for scamming several individuals and businesses of millions of naira, has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to reduce his eight-year sentence, claiming it was wrongly calculated in that he was made to suffer for both the crimes he planned and the ones he actually committed.

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