US court orders Hushpuppi to pay $1.7 million to his victims, as he receives 11-year prison sentence for fraud
A United States District Court for the Central District of California has finally sentenced Hushpuppi, an Instagram celebrity, to 11 years and three months in prison for fraud.
On Monday, November 7, the 40-year-old was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who also ordered Abbas to pay $1,732,841 in restitution to two fraud victims.
Hushpuppi, according to the judge, conspired to launder tens of millions of dollars through online scams while flaunting his luxurious, crime-funded lifestyle on social media.
Ten months after his June 2020 arrest in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), he entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering in April 2021.
Since being kicked out of the UAE, Hushpuppi has remained in US federal custody.
According to a statement issued by the US court:
“Abbas bragged on social media about his lavish lifestyle – a lifestyle funded by his involvement in transnational fraud and money laundering conspiracies targeting victims around the world,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada.
“Money laundering and business email compromise scams are a massive international crime problem, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement and international partners to identify and prosecute those involved, wherever they may be.”
“Ramon Abbas, a.k.a. ‘Hushpuppi,’ targeted both American and international victims, becoming one of the most prolific money launderers in the world,” said Don Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
“Abbas leveraged his social media platforms – where he amassed a considerable following – to gain notoriety and to brag about the immense wealth he acquired by conducting business email compromise scams, online bank heists and other cyber-enabled fraud that financially ruined scores of victims and provided assistance to the North Korean regime.
“This significant sentence is the result of years’ worth of collaboration among law enforcement in multiple countries and should send a clear warning to international fraudsters that the FBI will seek justice for victims, regardless of whether criminals operate within or outside United States borders.”
In a handwritten letter addressed to Judge Otis D. Wright, Abbas expressed regret for his crimes and promised to compensate his victims with his own money. He also claimed that the crime for which he was being prosecuted had only netted him $300,000.
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