Nigerian influencer ‘Hushpuppi’ jailed in US for money laundering | Crime News

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The 40-year-old social media influencer grew to become well-known for flaunting a lavish way of life supported by cash laundering.

A Nigerian social media influencer who known as himself Ray Hushpuppi and flaunted a lavish way of life supported by laundering thousands and thousands of {dollars} was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to greater than 11 years in federal jail.

Ramon Abbas, 40, was additionally ordered by a federal choose to pay $1.7m in restitution to 2 fraud victims, in accordance with an announcement from the US Division of Justice.

Abbas was “one of the prolific cash launderers on the planet,” Don Alway, assistant director in command of the FBI’s Los Angeles workplace, mentioned within the assertion.

Prosecutors mentioned Abbas and a Canadian man laundered cash from varied on-line crimes together with financial institution cyberheists and enterprise electronic mail compromise, or BEC, a prolific crime wherein crooks hack into electronic mail accounts, faux to be somebody they’re not, and idiot victims into wiring cash the place it doesn’t belong.

In 2019, he helped launder some $14.7m stolen by North Korean hackers from a financial institution in Malta, funnelling the cash by means of banks in Romania and Bulgaria, prosecutors mentioned.

He additionally helped launder thousands and thousands of kilos stolen from a British firm and an expert soccer membership in the UK, bought a New York-based regulation agency to switch practically $923,000 to a prison account, and acknowledged in a plea settlement that he helped defraud somebody in Qatar who sought a $15m mortgage to construct a faculty, federal prosecutors mentioned.

In July 2021, a prime Nigerian police officer, Abba Kyari, was suspended by the nation’s police service fee following an FBI indictment linking him to Abbas.

At Monday’s sentencing, Abbas was sentenced to 135 months in federal jail and was ordered to pay $922,857 in restitution to the regulation agency and $809,983 in restitution to the sufferer in Qatar.

“By his personal admission, throughout simply an 18-month interval defendant conspired to launder over $300 million,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum, though they mentioned a lot of the meant loss “didn’t finally materialise”.

Abbas, underneath the title “Ray Hushpuppi,” had greater than two million Instagram followers earlier than he was arrested in 2020 in Dubai within the United Arab Emirates.

His social media posts confirmed him residing a lifetime of luxurious, full with non-public jets, ultra-expensive automobiles, and high-end garments and watches.

“I hope sometime I can be inspiring extra younger individuals to hitch me on this path,” learn one Instagram publish by Abbas, who pleaded responsible in April 2021 to 1 depend of conspiracy to have interaction in cash laundering.

Ghaleb Alaumary, 37, of Mississauga in Ontario, Canada, was charged individually. He pleaded responsible in 2020 to 1 depend of conspiracy to have interaction in cash laundering, prosecutors mentioned. He was sentenced to just about 12 years in federal jail and was ordered to pay greater than $30m in restitution.



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