Popular Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, popularly known as “Hushpuppi” has pleaded guilty to involvement in conspiracy to defraud a Qatari businessman of more than one (1) million dollars, the U.S. Justice Department reveals.
Hushpuppi, 37, who is well known for his lavish lifestyle on Instagram also admitted to “laundering of illicit proceeds through bank accounts around the world.”
He was indicted with three (3) US-based compatriots – as well three (3) defendants believed to be in Africa on the charges of “conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.”
On April 20, Ray Hushpuppi pleade guilty for his role in school-finance scheme, as well as cyber and email compromise schemes that cumumlatively caused more than $24 million in losses.
He was arrested in Dubai in the last year (2020) in his apartment. They seized more than $40.9 million in cash, 13 luxury cars with an estimated value of $6.8 million obtained from fraud crimes, and confiscated 21 computer devices, 47 smartphones, 15 memory sticks, five hard disks containing 119,580 fraud files as well as addresses of 1,926,400 victims, says Dubai Police.
According to court documents,
“Abdul,” 28, of Kenya, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, 40, of Nigeria, to defraud the Qatari businessperson by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance construction of the planned school. Juma allegedly posed as a facilitator and consultant for the illusory bank loans, while Abbas played the role of “Malik,” a Wells Fargo banker in New York, according to court documents. Vincent, in turn, allegedly provided support for the false narratives fed to the victim by, among other things, creating bogus documents and arranging for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line.
Yusuf Adekinka Anifowoshe, a.k.a. “AJ,” 26, of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly played a role in the fraud, assisting Abbas with a call to the victim posing as “Malik.” Special agents with the FBI arrested Anifowoshe in New York on July 22.”
Hushpuppi was arrested alongside another compatriot Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka “Woodberry” in a joint task, known as Fox Hunt 2.
He was handed over to FBI agents, and later transfered to Los Angeles to face trial.
Hushpuppi could face maximum sentence of 20 years.