Nigerian influencer “Billionaire Gucci Master”, aka Ramon Abbas aka “Ray Hushpuppi”, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison in the US for money laundering and fraud.
The social media star, famous for his lavish lifestyle that included luxury cars and private jets, had more than 2.8 million followers on Instagram before he was arrested.
in a official release As for the case, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) referred to Abbas, 40, as “one of the world’s most prolific money launderers.” Over the course of 18 months, Abbas and his cohorts laundered more than $300 million by engaging in various fraudulent activities, including online bank robberies.
The culprits also committed the business email compromise (BEC) crime, which involves hacking into legitimate email accounts and then persuading unsuspecting victims to transfer money.
According to Abbas, only $300,000 of the $300 million reached his accounts.
Among the schemes perpetrated by Abbas and his co-conspirators was the illegitimate financing of a Qatari school. An anonymous British soccer team was also victimized.
Acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison explained that the defendants “[played] the roles of bank officials and the creation of a fake website [for the Qatari school financing] in a scheme that also bribed a foreign official to maintain the elaborate pretext after the victim was informed.”
Abbas has reached an agreement with the prosecution. His co-conspirators include Abdulrahman Imraan Juma, also known as “Abdul”, 28, from Kenya, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, 40, from Nigeria.
Yusuf Adekinka Anifowoshe, 26, aka “AJ”, from Brooklyn, New York, also played a role in the Qatari school finance scam, playing the role of “Malik”.
The FBI shared key details about how Abbas personally benefited from the scheme and how his social media played a role in his capture. Approximately $230,000 of the stolen funds were allegedly used to buy Abbas a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which was delivered to him personally in Dubai.
After its delivery, the watch began to feature prominently in Hushpuppi’s social media posts. Other illicit proceeds appear to have been exchanged for cashier’s checks, including $50,000 that was used by Abbas and one of his co-conspirators to fraudulently obtain St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship. In addition to false citizenship documentation for him, Abbas acquired a fake passport and marriage license before bribing a government official in St. Kitts.
The FBI noted that this ongoing case is part of Operation Top Dog.
The agency specifically thanks the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to the Dubai Police Department for their “substantial assistance” throughout the investigation.
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