29th Jul, 2021 @ 10:47 AM


Hushpuppi pleads guilty in American court


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The 37-year-old Nigerian celebrity scammer, Ramos Olorunwa Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, had finally pleaded guilty to being involved in fraud.

After he and members of his gang were arrested in their residences in Dubai, in June 2020, he was extradited the United States of America because most of his fraudulent activities were based there. He had spent one year in custody, still maintaining his innocence.

According to the United States Department of Justice (DoJ), he had pleaded guilty to fraud, in the form of cyber-heists, Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes and other fraudulent schemes that included defrauding a Qatari international school. All these round up to 24 million dollars in losses.

The Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Kristi K. Johnson, stated that Hushpuppi had agreed to being involved in global BEC fraud. According to the assistant Director, Hushpuppi is among the most high-profile money launderers in the world and his celebrity status and connections led to several other scams in the United States and abroad.

Also, the Acting United States Attorney, Tracy L. Wilkinson said that Hushpuppi played the role of bank officials and faked the financing of a Qatari educational institution by creating a bogus website and also bribing a foreign official to cover up his schemes. She also stated that Hushpuppi laundered money generated by con artists and funded his luxurious lifestyle by playing a significant role in the scheme.

Despite his guilty plea, he would also serve time for a maximum of 20 years and make full restitution of the proceeds of the scams.

The plea agreement was signed by Hushpuppi, his lawyer, Louis Shapiro and the Assistant United States Attorney, Anil Antony on the 4th of July. It was then filed at a United States Central District Court of California on Tuesday, 27th July, 2021. Huspuppi also consented to not contesting the facts agreed to in the signed agreement.

Hushpuppi would appear in court after a date had been fixed, so that he would change his “not guilty” plea to “guilty” plea. Thereafter, a hearing would follow, so that the judge would determine the number of years Hushpuppi is to spend in jail.

He would also be deported after completing his time in prison and paying the full amount to be restituted due to the fact that he is not an American citizen.

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