Nigerian Instagram Influencer Who Flaunted Private Jets and Luxury Cars Sentenced to 11 Years For Mo
Sometimes doing it for the 'gram goes wrong. A Nigerian influencer learned the hard way, he was found guilty on charges of money laundering and fraud. And his Instagram didn't help his case.
Ramon Abbas, who went by "Hushpuppi" on Instagram, has been sentenced to 135 months in federal prison for money laundering and internet fraud, the US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California announced Monday.
The 40-year-old was taken into federal custody in June 2020 after being arrested in Dubai and expelled from the United Arab Emirates. He has been ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution to two fraud victims.
In one 2019 scheme, Abbas worked with a co-conspirator to launder $14.7 million that North Korean hackers stole from a bank in Malta, the court's statement reads.
In another scheme, the influencer worked with others to defraud a businessman in Qatar who wanted to loan $15 million to build a school.
After duping the victim into transferring $330,000 over to start the loan, Abbas instead used the money to fund his lavish lifestyle, which included purchasing a $230,000 Richard Mille watch that made numerous appearances on his wrist "on his now-defunct Instagram account," the statement continues.
Abbas would get the attention of his followers by posting pictures of himself wearing designer clothes and posing with luxury cars and private jets.
However, the social media posts also garnered the attention of investigators who used them as evidence to establish the charges against him, per an FBI affidavit filed by Special Agent Andrew Innocenti in June 2020.
According to the affidavit, Abbas "finances this opulent lifestyle through crime," and is "one of the leaders of a transnational network" that targets victims around the world "in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars."
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