Hushpuppi faces up to 20 years imprisonment as he makes first court appearance in US

A Nigerian citizen living Dubai, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a.k.a. “Ray Hushpuppi” on Friday appeared in a United States court to face criminal charges, the US Justice Department announced.

In a statement on its website, the Justice Department said Hushpuppi conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a US law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League soccer club.

Hushpuppi, who arrived in Chicago Thursday evening after being extradited from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), made his first court appearance on Friday in Chicago, and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

Abbas was arrested last month by UAE law enforcement officials. FBI special agents earlier this week obtained custody of Abbas and brought him to the United States to face a charge of conspiring to engage in money laundering that is alleged in a criminal complaint filed on June 25 by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles.




According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, Hushpuppi maintains social media accounts that frequently showed him in designer clothes, wearing expensive watches, and posing in or with luxury cars and charter jets.

“The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime, and that he is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit alleges that Hushpuppi and others committed a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019.

Hushpuppi and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by him and the co-conspirators.

The affidavit also alleges that Hushpuppi conspired to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign financial institution in February 2019, in which the stolen money was sent to bank accounts around the world.

He allegedly provided a co-conspirator with two bank accounts in Europe that he anticipated each would receive €5 million (about $5.6 million) of the fraudulently obtained funds.

Hushpuppi and others further conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club, the complaint alleges.

If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

According to the statement, the case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anil J. Antony and Joseph B. Woodring of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter.




Subscribe to TMZ Naija
To receive alert from TMZ Naija, Adverts Placement, Stories & more, Contact via Whatsapp: 07032803990, email [email protected]


No comments: