- Ramon Olorunwa Abbas is Hushpuppi’s full name.
- He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on October 11th, 1982.
- He attended Lagos’ Ikorodu Government College.
- He is of Yoruba ancestry.
- Hushpuppi, a Nigerian Muslim, claims he’s not religious.
- His father is a cab driver in Nigeria’s commercial centre, Lagos.
- EFCC wants him for several frauds in Nigeria.
- Bloomberg and BBC Africa have released documentaries about Hushpuppi until his arrest.
- His sentence is on November 3, 2022 after pleading guilty on July 28, 2021.
Who is Hushpuppi?
Ramon Abbas, well known by his moniker Hushpuppi, was born in Nigeria on October 11th, 1982 to parents who were of Nigerian descent. Hushpuppi, as he is more commonly known, was found guilty on criminal charges of conspiring to launder money and commit email frauds. These crimes included defrauding a law firm in the United States out of a staggering amount of US$40 million, as well as allegedly transferring a sum of US$14.7 from other foreign financial institutions and stealing an additional US$124 from one of the English Premier League clubs. Hushpuppi was convicted on these criminal charges. At this time, he is awaiting his sentencing, which is scheduled to take place on November 3, 2022.
Hushpuppi’s Arrest in Dubai
In June of 2020, members of the Dubai police force apprehended Hushpuppi in Dubai and ultimately decided to extradite him to the United States.
Hushpuppi’s Social Life
Hushpuppi led a luxury lifestyle, frequently appearing in online videos and photos showing him boarding private jets and helicopters with Nigerian politicians, players, and celebrities, as well as wearing fashionable clothing from high-end labels like Luis Vuitton, Fendi, and Gucci. Hushpuppi claimed to be in the Real Estate business on top of his extravagant lifestyle.
Hushpuppi’s Arrest & Extradition
Hushpuppi was staying in the Palazzo Versace hotel in Dubai on the night of his arrest, which was part of a larger operation known as Fox Hunt 2.
Over 150 million dirham ($40 million) in cash, 21 laptops, 13 luxury cars valued at $25 million dirham ($7 million), 15 memory storage cards, 47 smartphones, 800,000 emails of suspected victims, 5 external hard drives, and a number of suitcases were seized during the simultaneous raids that led to the arrests of Ramon Abbas and the other 11 suspects.
The FBI conducted an investigation that provided strong circumstantial evidence pointing directly to him, leading to his eventual arrest.
Hushpuppi’s Early Life
It’s been said that the man named Ramon Abbas (Hushpuppi) used to run a used clothing store in Lagos, Nigeria. Even though his best friend Mompha had let slip that Hushpuppi’s father was still working as a cab driver in Lagos, Hushpuppi took great pride in his modest upbringing.
The interviews with Ramon Abbas’s former neighbours reveal that he was known as the “Yahoo boy” (a term widely used in Nigeria to refer to a cyber criminal). Hushpuppi’s mother reportedly disapproved of the path he chose, and despite her repeated cautions, Ramon Abbas persisted in his extravagant way of living.
Timaya, a prominent figure in the Nigerian music scene, included him in his song “Telli Person,” which also featured Phyno and Olamide, two of the country’s most successful rappers. The song’s lyrics were apparently aimed at Hushpuppi, accusing him of being a con artist who wastes his money on frivolous things like clothes, women, and expensive jewellery rather than saving or investing it and warning him that his day of reckoning will come sooner than he expected. As if by divine decree, he fell into the hands of the law enforcement.
Hushpuppi’s Fraud Allegations
Hushpuppi was charged of conspiring to launder millions of dollars in illicit funds after his detention in Dubai and subsequent extradition to the United States. In 2019, he was also charged with wire fraud totaling over US$14.7 million and conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through bogus institutions. The affidavit of accusation did not specifically mention the bank, but he was also suspected of attacking Malta’s Bank of Valletta in 2019 by transferring $24.7 million through phoney international transactions involving accounts in the United States. For his part, Forbes believes the funds were stolen by Hushpuppi, prompting the Prime Minister to address Parliament on the matter.
The jury dismissed his bail requests, even the ones that begged him to be released so he could see his girlfriend’s uncle in Illinois. They feared he would abscond. His lawyer, Gal Pissetzky, pleaded with the judge to let him go on bond because of his fame and the fact that he would be embarrassed to flee the country if he were arrested, but the judge refused, pointing out all the charges against him.
In a story published by Bloomberg Businessweek, the specifics of Hushpuppi’s arrest, extradition, and upcoming trial in Los Angeles on July 27th, 2021, are laid out in great detail. The police believe Hushpuppi was involved in multi-million dollar schemes involving money laundering and the dark web.
Hushpuppi’s Guilty Plea
In a guilty plea hearing on July 28, 2021, Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, admitted to charges of money laundering.
Hushpuppi’s Relationship With Abba Kyari
Following his guilty plea, Hushpuppi identified Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Nigeria, as his co-conspirator. After this admission, a U.S. judge issued an arrest warrant for Nigerian police officer Abba Kyari on charges of complicity in Hushpuppi’s US$1.1 million fraud. As if that weren’t enough, Hushpuppi was compelled to reveal his chat with Abba Kyari.
After being found guilty of the offence of money laundering, Hushpuppi faces the possibility of being sentenced to anywhere between 15 and 20 years in a federal prison in the United States. After serving his term, he will be deported back to Nigeria. The date set for his sentencing is November 3rd, 2022.
Hushpuppi is on the wanted list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for committing multiple frauds in Nigeria. However, it is unlikely that he will be prosecuted in Nigeria after his deportation from the United States, as the Nigerian government may not wish to subject him to double punishment.
On September 19, 2022, Hushpuppi sent a letter to the court that was sitting in the United States and was led by judge Otis Wright. This letter looks to be Hushpuppi’s final appeal before the ruling. In his appeal, Hushpuppi detailed the origins of his fortune, including his involvement in criminal activity and how he obtained it, as well as the things in his life that he deeply regretted. On the other hand, he expressed his regret to his friends, family, and victims, while also praising the FBI for the work that they had done.
Hushpuppi’s Net Worth
At the time of his arrest, extradition, and detention in the United States, it was believed that Hushpuppi’s net worth was somewhere in the neighbourhood of $70 million. After entering a guilty plea and being convicted, it is quite unlikely that we will be able to determine his present fortune because the United States government is likely to have seized the majority of his easily accessible assets.