Nigerian Instagram sensation, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi has been transferred to Los Angeles- California to face trial over money laundry allegations levelled against him.
According to reports, despite hiring top Chicago criminal defendant, Gal Pissetzky as his attorney, the 37-year-old has now settled for a government lawyer after he was dumped by his attorney allegedly.
Hushpuppi, who was resident in Dubai and known for flaunting his wealth on social media, particularly Instagram, was arrested somewhere last month over money laundering allegations. On July 3, Ramon Abbas was extradited to the U.S.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation had earlier alleged that Mr Abbas was one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering.
Adding up, the FBI intimated that Hushpuppi funded his extravagant lifestyle with stolen money.
During a detention hearing, a court in the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Abbas will be transported to Los Angeles by the U.S. Marshals Service.
On July 14, the suspected Nigerian scamster was moved to California as confirmed by transfer documents signed by Thomas G. Bruton, the Clerk of the U.S Court in Chicago.
HUSHPUUPI LOVED AND RESPECTED
With over 2.5 million followers on Instagram, Ramon Abbas who is widely known as ‘the billionaire Gucci master’, has built a global audience for himself due to the constant showcase of his lavish spending on cars, watches, and designer clothes.
During the later part of June, the 37-year-old was arrested in Dubai alongside with his co-conspirators including Mr Woodberry. On July 3 he arrived in the U.S to face criminal charges over allegations that he possesses “hundreds of millions of dollars” from business email compromise frauds and other scams.
In an interview with Forbes, Hushpuppi’s lawyer Gal Pissetzky asserted that his client is “absolutely not guilty of [the] charges they are accusing him of,” describing Abbas as “an entrepreneur” who made his money legitimately through “real estate” and his work “promoting brands’ as an “Instagram personality.”
At the hearing, Pissetzky argued that his client posed no flight risk because of the damage it would do to his credibility online, adding, “He is loved and respected. He is a celebrity. He would not want to ruin his credibility and status rather than stay here and face these allegations.”
Adding support to the claim that Abbas pays for his lifestyle through promoting designer products on social media, Pissetzky argued: “Mr Abbas is an Instagram personality.
A social media personality. Of course, he poses with high-price things since that is the thing that he gets paid to do. That is the thing that he has developed from becoming poor in Nigeria; he had the option to form himself into this very notable character with a great many followers on Instagram.
He is an influencer… that is what my kids would call him …What’s more, individuals seeing him with these Louis Vuitton bags or clothes, or Gucci bags and clothes, or these extravagant vehicles, and they proceed to need it. Want to buy it. That’s a job today. As much as it’s hard to imagine—that’s a full-time job.”
Pissetzky made no mention of the claim on the hushpuppi Instagram feed that Abbas works as a “real estate developer.”
Pissetzky told the court that the online life pictures of Abbas’ way of life are being used as more considerable implied evidence of wrongdoing, instead of the real proof of lousy behaviour introduced by the FBI in the oath.
On the amazing sums Abbas is blamed for laundering in the FBI’s claims, his legal advisor says, “[Abbas] doesn’t have millions of dollars and his bank accounts will affirm he doesn’t have that [amount of money].”
He included, “He has not had any cash seized from him. Indeed, he lived in a nice apartment in Dubai. [But that] doesn’t imply that he’s a criminal. He didn’t hack anybody. He didn’t take information from anybody.”