On November 4, 2022, popular Nigerian socialite and social media sensation Ramon Abass, also known as Hushpuppi, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in the United States by the United States Central District Court in California.
Hushpuppi, despite being sentenced to 11 years in prison, will serve only a 9-year term because he has already served two years.
Hushpuppi was arrested by Dubai Police in June 2020 for extensive fraud schemes that robbed victims in the United States, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and other countries of their money and property.
Following his arrest in Dubai, he was transferred to the United States, where he was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to all charges.
Hushpuppi flaunted his cars, accessories, and other luxury items on social media, attracting the attention of many people, including celebrities and popular footballers.
During his trial, Hushpuppi pleaded with the presiding Judge of the case, Judge Otis Wright, to give him a lesser sentence and not send him back to Nigeria. He also praised the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for its efforts in bringing him to justice, and he apologised to his family.
Also read: Top Nigerian cop held amid drug cartel claim
Hushpuppi, according to reports, was cooperative during the investigation and has been on his best behaviour while in jail.
The back story
Mr Abbas, 37, also known as Hushpuppi, who is known for flaunting his opulent lifestyle on social media, was arrested in June by special operatives including Emerati police officers and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operatives.
According to the affidavit obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the FBI’s investigation revealed that Mr Abbas finances his extravagant lifestyle through crime.
He is accused of being the boss of a mafia that facilitates computer hacking, Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud, and money laundering.
According to the FBI, his targeted victims, primarily in the United States, have been duped out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mr Abbas, along with Olalekan Ponle, also known as Woodberry, was extradited to Chicago, Illinois, in July, where he was first arraigned.
However, because the United States Court in Illinois lacks jurisdiction over the case, he was transferred to Los Angeles, California, where his trial will begin.
He pleaded not guilty to the four counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracies, international money laundering, and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity at the pre-trial services.
In addition, the suspected fraudster has requested that he be charged with a complaint rather than an indictment. This he accomplished by submitting a waiver of the indictment that was accepted by the court.
A complaint is a statement made by law enforcement officers that contain the essential facts of the offences.
A prosecutor, on the other hand, must present proposed charges to a grand jury – a body of jurors that investigates crimes and decides whether charges should be filed – in order to obtain an indictment.
If convicted, the former Instagram sensation could spend the next 20 years in a federal prison in the United States.
Follow Clicks ‘n Likes On Facebook for more updates