A United States District Court for the Central District of California has finally sentenced Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abass Olorunwa, popularly known as Hushpuppi, to 11 years and three months in prison for fraud.
The 40-year-old was sentenced on Monday, November 7, by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who also ordered Abbas to pay $1,732,841 in restitution to two fraud victims.
The judge said Hushpuppi conspired to launder tens of millions of dollars through online scams and flaunted his luxurious, crime-funded lifestyle on social media.
He pleaded guilty in April 2021 to one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, 10 months after he was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), in June 2020.
Hushpuppi has remained in US federal custody since his expulsion from the UAE.
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.
“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.”
Abbas apologised for his crimes to Judge Otis D Wright in a handwritten note, saying he would use his personal funds to pay back his victims. He also said he had only made $300,000 from the crime he was being tried for.
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