Influencer “Ray Hushpuppi” Jailed for $300 Million Laundering Scheme | Los Angeles
The social media influencer, who called himself Ray Hushpuppy and flaunted a lavish lifestyle fueled by his efforts to launder millions of stolen dollars, was convicted in 1998. The angels more than 11 years in federal prison.
Ramon Abbas, 40, was also ordered by a federal judge to pay $1.7 million in restitution to two fraud victims, the US Justice Department said in a statement.
Abbas was “one of the world’s most prolific money launderers,” Don Alloway, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said in a statement.
Prosecutors say Abbas, who is Nigerian, and a Canadian man laundered money from a variety of online crimes, including bank cyber-heists and business email compromise, or BEC, a prolific crime in which fraudsters hack emails. trick victims into putting money where it doesn’t belong.
In 2019, he helped launder $14.7 million stolen by North Korean hackers from a bank in Malta by funneling the money through banks in Romania and Bulgaria, prosecutors said.
He also helped launder millions of pounds stolen from a British company and a British professional football club, got a New York law firm to transfer about $923,000 to a criminal account and admitted he helped defraud someone in Qatar. who requested a $15 million loan to build a school, federal prosecutors said.
At Monday’s sentencing, Abbas was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $922,857 in restitution to the law firm and $809,983 in restitution to the victim in Qatar.
“By his own admission, in just 18 months, the defendant conspired to launder more than $300 million,” prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memorandum, though they said most of the intended losses “ultimately did not materialize.”
Abbas, who goes by the name Ray Hushpuppy, had more than 2 million Instagram followers before he was arrested in 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. His social media posts showed that he was living a life of luxury, complete with private jets, extremely expensive cars and high-end clothes and watches.
“I hope that one day I will inspire more young people to join me on this journey,” said an Instagram post by Abbas, who pleaded guilty in April 2021 to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Galeb Alaumari, 37, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, was charged separately. He pleaded guilty in 2020 to conspiracy to commit money laundering, prosecutors said. He was sentenced to nearly 12 years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $30 million in restitution.
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