Instagram influencer 'Hushpuppi' pleads guilty to million-dollar fraud in US

A Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, known as "Hushpuppi" has admitted his involvement in a conspiracy to defraud a Qatari businessman of more than $1m, the U.S. Justice Department has said. Abbas, 37, also admitted to laundering money "through bank accounts around the world," including "several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses," the statement released Wednesday added.

He pleaded guilty to the charges on April 20, according to court documents which were only unsealed Wednesday. Abbas was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in June last year after local police raided his Dubai apartment. Nearly $41 million in cash, 13 luxury cars valued at around $6.8 million, and phone and computer evidence containing more than 100,000 fraud files and the addresses of nearly two million possible victims were found during the raid, according to Dubai Police.

He was arrested alongside another Nigerian man Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka "Woodberry" in a joint operation with United States agents known as "Foxhunt 2," Dubai police said. Abbas was handed over to FBI agents, and was later transferred to Los Angeles to face trial on charges of money laundering through cybercrime schemes.

 

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