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Influencer ‘Ray Hushpuppi’ Flaunted Rich Lifestyle on Instagram, Gets 11 Years for Money Laundering

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A Nigerian social media influencer known as “Ray Hushpuppi” to his millions of followers on Instagram flaunted his lavish lifestyle online for years while committing a series of international online scams and money laundering millions of dollars, they said. The authorities.

Ramon Abbas, 40, pleaded guilty in April last year to conspiracy to engage in money laundering, the Justice Department said. On Monday, a federal judge in California sentenced him to more than 11 years in prison and ordered him to pay $1.7 million in restitution to two fraud victims.

On social media, Abbas was seen living a life of luxury complete with private planes, expensive cars and designer clothes.

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Abbas was arrested in June 2020 by Dubai authorities and has been in federal detention ever since.

“Ramon Abbas, also known as ‘Hushpuppi,’ targeted American and international victims, becoming one of the world’s most prolific money launderers,” said Don Alway, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.

The Justice Department said Abbas claimed to work in real estate, but laundered money from a number of cybercrimes in which email accounts were hacked to trick victims into sending them money. In 2019, he helped launder $14.7 million stolen by North Korean hackers from a bank in Malta and funneled the funds to banks in Romania and Bulgaria, prosecutors said.

Abbas also conspired with Ghaleb Alaumary, 37, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, a convicted money launderer, to launder millions of dollars stolen from a British company and a British soccer club. He also got a New York-based law firm in October 2019 to wire $922,857 to an account that was a co-conspirator.

An Instagram post from Abbas appears to show him wearing a designer watch while driving a luxury car in Dubai.
(Justice Department)

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In addition, Abbas admitted to helping defraud someone in Qatar who was seeking a $15 million loan to build a school.

“By his own admission, during just one 18-month period, the defendant conspired to launder more than $300 million,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “While much of this anticipated loss ultimately failed to materialize, [Abbas’] willingness and ability to engage in large-scale money laundering highlights the seriousness of their criminal conduct.”

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