Ramon Olorunwa Abbas a.k.a. “Ray Hushpuppi” now faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in a US federal prison after being extradited from Dubai to the United States.
In a statement released by the US Department of Justice, the suspected Nigerian fraudster was accused of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League soccer club.
Hushpuppi made his initial U.S. court appearance this morning in Chicago, and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in coming weeks.
Federal prosecutors who filed a criminal complaint filed on June 25, alleged that the suspected Nigerian fraudster is “one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars”.
It was also alleged that Hushpuppi finances his opulent lifestyle of designer clothes, wearing expensive watches, posing in or with luxury cars and charter jets through crime.
Hushpuppi and his suspected co-conspirators were accused of spearheading a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019.
Abbas and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by them.
He was also accused of conspiring to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 million cyber-heist from a foreign financial institution in February 2019, in which the stolen money was sent to bank accounts around the world.
Abbas allegedly provided a co-conspirator with two bank accounts in Europe which he expected to receive €5 million (about $5.6 million) in each.