US court orders Hushpuppi to pay $1.7m to victims as he finally faces 11 years jail term for fraud

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A United States District Court for the Central District of California has sentenced Ramon Abass Olorunwa, popularly known as Hushpuppi, to 11 years and three months in prison for fraud. On Monday, November 7, the 40-year-old was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who also ordered Abbas to pay $1,732,841 in restitution to two fraud victims.

Hushpuppi and 11 of his associates were arrested in the United Arab Emirates in June 2020 on suspicion of hacking, impersonation, scamming, banking fraud, and identity theft. Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2021. He also admitted attempting to steal more than $1.1 million from a person attempting to fund a children’s school in Qatar. He has remained in US federal custody since his expulsion from the UAE.

According to Premium Times, Hushpuppi’s wife, Regina Manneh, and two Imams wrote to the US District Court from Lagos and Borno states, pleading for mercy. The Imam of Imisi-Oluwa Mosque in Lagos, Rasaq Olopede, described Hushpuppi as a “frequent donor” to the mosque in a letter.

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In another letter, Hudu Abdulrasak of Madrasatul Ahlul-Bait Islamiya in Maiduguri, Borno State, praised Hushpuppi for his charitable contributions to orphans and widows. On November 4, the letters were filed in US District Court in support of the convict’s earlier plea for a light sentence.

A statement released by the US court read: “Abbas bragged on social media about his lavish lifestyle – a lifestyle funded by his involvement in transnational fraud and money laundering conspiracies targeting victims around the world,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada.

“Money laundering and business email compromise scams are a massive international crime problem, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement and international partners to identify and prosecute those involved, wherever they may be.”

“Ramon Abbas, a.k.a. ‘Hushpuppi,’ targeted both American and international victims, becoming one of the most prolific money launderers in the world,” said Don Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

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“Abbas leveraged his social media platforms – where he amassed a considerable following – to gain notoriety and to brag about the immense wealth he acquired by conducting business email compromise scams, online bank heists and other cyber-enabled fraud that financially ruined scores of victims and provided assistance to the North Korean regime.

“This significant sentence is the result of years’ worth of collaboration among law enforcement in multiple countries and should send a clear warning to international fraudsters that the FBI will seek justice for victims, regardless of whether criminals operate within or outside United States borders.”


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