Suspected Nigerian fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi, faces a maximum of 20 years in US federal prison if convicted.
Information Nigeria recalls Hushpuppi and his suspected co-conspirators have been extradited from Dubai to the United States.
According to a press release from the U.S Department of Justice, the suspected Nigerian fraudster conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League soccer club.
Hushpuppi made his first appearance in a U.S court on Friday morning, in Chicago, and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in coming days.
Federal prosecutors, who filed a criminal complaint on June 25, alleged that the suspected Nigerian fraudster is “one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars”.
Hushpuppi and his suspected co-conspirators allegedly led a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019.
It was also alleged that the suspected fraudsters hoodwinked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by them.
Hushpuppi allegedly financed his extravagant lifestyle with money acquired through illegal means.
The statement partly read;
“The affidavit also alleges that Abbas conspired to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign financial institution in February 2019, in which the stolen money was sent to bank accounts around the world.
Abbas allegedly provided a co-conspirator with two bank accounts in Europe that Abbas anticipated each would receive €5 million (about $5.6 million) of the fraudulently obtained funds.”
“Abbas and others further conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club.
If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anil J. Antony and Joseph B. Woodring of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter.”
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