Hushpuppi arrives in the US; charges include attempts to steal $124 million from an English Premier League Club.
Nigerian social media celebrity Ramon Olorunwa Abbas also known as “Hushpuppi” and “Guccimaster” made his initial court appearance in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday evening after being extradited from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The socialite known for his extravagant social media lifestyle is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
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However, it has been revealed that among his charges is an attempt to defraud an English Premier League Club of an amount of £100 million($124 million).
Hushpuppi also faces criminal charges for money laundering schemes worth millions of dollars via Business Email Compromise(BEC) frauds including ripping a US Law firm off for approximately $922,857 in October 2019.
Furthermore, it has been revealed through an FBI affidavit filed with the complaint that Abbas is one of the leaders of a transnational network of hackers and scammers involved in BEC fraud and money laundering schemes spanning across Europe and America.
The affidavit also alleged that Abbas was involved in a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign bank in February 2019, while laundering the stolen money to bank accounts around the world.
United States Attorney Nick Hanna in relation to the case mentioned that “BEC schemes are one of the most difficult cybercrimes we encounter as they typically involve a coordinated group of con artists scattered around the world who have experience with computer hacking and exploiting the international financial system.” “This case targets a key player in a large, transnational conspiracy who was living an opulent lifestyle in another country while allegedly providing safe havens for stolen money around the world. As this case demonstrates, my office will continue to hold such criminals accountable, no matter where they live.”
Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office also stated that the FBI recorded $1.7 billion in losses by companies and individuals victimized through BEC scams in 2019 alone- the kind of scheme that Hushpuppi and his cohorts run.
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The Guccimaster with his syndicate of scammers were arrested by Dubai Police in collaboration with the FBI and Interpol.
Hushpuppi, if found guilty and convicted, would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.