Notorious influencer fraudster is jailed for money laundering

Notorious Nigerian fraudster ‘Ray Hushpuppi’ who flaunted his bling lifestyle on Instagram is jailed in America for 11 years as FBI calls him ‘one of the most prolific money launderers in the world’

  • Ramon Abbas, 40, hacked into emails and convinced people to wire him money
  • He laundered millions stolen from banks, a soccer club and a New York law firm
  • He boasted 2million Instagram followers he tried to ‘inspire’ with his lifestyle

A Nigerian influencer who flaunted his lavish lifestyle online has been jailed for 11 years after laundering millions of stolen dollars by hacking into emails and convincing vulnerable people to wire money.

Ramon Abbas, 40, who called himself Ray Hushpuppi online and regularly posed in front of supercars, private jets and in designer clothing, was branded ‘one of the most prolific money launderers in the world’ by the FBI.

He has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $1.7million in restitution to two fraud victims, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prosecutors said Abbas and a Canadian man carried out bank cyberheists and business email compromise, in which crooks hack into email accounts and pretend to be someone they’re not to convince victims into wiring money.

In 2019, he helped launder some $14.7million stolen by North Korean hackers from a bank in Malta, funneling the money through banks in Romania and Bulgaria, prosecutors said.

A Nigerian influencer who flaunted his lavish lifestyle online has been jailed for 11 years

He laundered millions of stolen dollars by hacking into emails and convincing vulnerable people to wire money

Ramon Abbas, 40, who called himself Ray Hushpuppi online, was branded ‘one of the most prolific money launderers in the world’ by the FBI 

He also helped launder millions of pounds stolen from a British company and a professional soccer club in the United Kingdom, got a New York-based law firm to transfer nearly $923,000 to a criminal account and acknowledged in a plea agreement that he helped defraud someone in Qatar who sought a $15million loan to build a school, federal prosecutors said.

At Monday’s sentencing, Abbas was sentenced to to 135 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $922,857 in restitution to the law firm and $809,983 in restitution to the victim in Qatar.

‘By his own admission, during just an 18-month period defendant conspired to launder over $300million,’ prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum, although they said much of the intended loss ‘did not ultimately materialize.’

Abbas, under the name Ray Hushpuppi, had more than 2million Instagram followers before he was arrested in 2020 in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

He has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $1.7million in restitution to two fraud victims, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice

He regularly posed in front of supercars, private jets and in designer clothing

His social media posts showed him living a life of luxury, complete with private jets, ultra-expensive cars and high-end clothes and watches.

‘I hope someday I will be inspiring more young people to join me on this path,’ read one Instagram post by Abbas, who pleaded guilty in April 2021 to one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

Ghaleb Alaumary, 37, of Mississauga in Ontario, Canada, was charged separately. He pleaded guilty in 2020 to one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, prosecutors said. 

He was sentenced to nearly 12 years in federal prison and was ordered to pay more than $30million in restitution.

He also helped launder millions of pounds stolen from a British company and a professional soccer club in the United Kingdom

Abbas, under the name Ray Hushpuppi, had more than 2million Instagram followers before he was arrested in 2020 in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates

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