Internet Fraud star “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.
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37-year-old Raymond Abbass aka Hushpuppi made his initial U.S. court appearance on Friday, July 3rd in Chicago, and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles within 7 Days.
Federal prosecutors who filed a criminal complaint file 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.
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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.
Hushpuppi 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.
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The suspected Nigerian fraudster also allegedly conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club.
This case including the covid19 found that triggered his investigation and arrest is being prosecuted by United States Attorneys who specialise in Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes. If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Raymond Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.